New U.S. jobless claims cling near 49-year low of 211,000

The rate of layoffs in the U.S. stuck near a 49-year low in early May, just more proof that an ultratight labor market shows no sign of softening. Initial jobless claims were unchanged at 211,000 in the week ended May 5, the government said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 215,000 reading. The more stable monthly average of claims, meanwhile, fell by 5,500 to 216,000 to touch the lowest level since December 1969.

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