U.S. weekly jobless claims fell by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000 last week, the second consecutive weekly decline, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had expected 331,000 new claims.
The four-week moving average for new claims came in lower by 13,500, at 335,000.
“The level of claims is now consistent with a healthy labor market turnover,” Yelena Shulyatyeva, U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York, told Bloomberg. “But companies are still reluctant to hire and invest, so that’s the real issue. For the economy to accelerate, we need to see acceleration in hiring.”