(CNBC) The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped to a 49-1/2-year low last week, pointing to sustained labor market strength that could temper expectations of a sharp slowdown in economic growth.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 196,000 for the week ended April 6, the lowest level since early October 1969. Claims have now declined for four straight weeks. Data for the prior week was revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims would rise to 211,000 in the latest week. The Labor Department said no states were estimated last week.
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