New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits held steady last week, close to a four-decade low as the jobs market firms, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Initial jobless claims, an indicator of the pace of layoffs, totaled 276,000 in the week ending November 7, the same as the previous week.
New filings remain low as the economy musters steady jobs growth. Last Friday the Labor Department’s October jobs report was a blockbuster, with the strongest job gains of the year at 271,000 payrolls, and the unemployment rate falling to 5.0 percent, a fresh seven-year low.
The four-week moving average of new claims rose by 5,000 to 267,750, compared with 286,500 a year ago.
“With indicators of hiring still extremely strong, outside the small manufacturing sector, claims are consistent with 250,000-plus payrolls,” said Ian Shepherdson, chief economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics.
“As a share of the employment, claims have never been lower, presumably because firms don’t want to let people go, given the difficulty they report in finding qualified staff.”