The number of Americans seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell to a 14-year low last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. It’s the latest sign that people are finding jobs as companies hire and keep more employees.
In the week ending Oct. 11, initial jobless claims fell 23,000 from the previous week, to 264,000, the lowest level since April 2000, when it was 259,000. The four-week average fell 4,250, to 283,500, the lowest level since June 2000. Factor in that the U.S. population has grown since 2000, and the share of the American workforce applying for unemployment aid is even smaller.
The data come as concerns of slower global economic growth have pitched financial markets into volatility. An unexpected drop in U.S. retail sales reported Wednesday further shook up the markets, but they recovered some losses after the Fed said it sees steady U.S. economic growth ahead.