(From Reuters)

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, revisiting a level last seen in 1973 as the labor market continues to strengthen despite a sluggish economy.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits decreased 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 253,000 for the week ended April 9, the Labor Department said on Thursday. That matched the level for early March, which was the lowest since November 1973.

Claims for the week ending April 2 were revised to show 1,000 fewer applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 270,000 in the latest week. Jobless claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with healthy labor market conditions, for 58 weeks, the longest stretch since 1973. Read more

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