Fewer Americans than forecast filed first-time claims for unemployment insurance payments last week, a sign the labor market is getting back on track.
Applications for jobless benefits decreased 26,000 to 359,000 in the week ended Sept. 22, the lowest since July, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 375,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg survey. There was nothing unusual in last week’s data, a Labor Department spokesman said as the figures were released to the press.
The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held at 2.6 percent in the week ended Sept. 15. Thirty-seven states and territories reported an increase in claims, while 16 reported a decrease.