Fewer Americans filed for jobless benefits last week

Business

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. applications for unemployment benefits fell last week to their lowest level in 16 weeks despite attempts by the Federal Reserve to slow the economy and bring down inflation.

The number of Americans applying for jobless aid for the week ending Jan. 14 fell by 15,000 to 190,000, from 205,000 the week before, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The four-week moving average of claims, which can even out the week-to-week volatility, declined by 6,500 to 206,000.

Jobless claims generally serve as a proxy for layoffs, which have been relatively low since the pandemic wiped out millions of jobs in the spring of 2020.

About 1.65 million people were receiving jobless aid the week that ended Jan. 7, an increase of 17,000 from the week before.

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