Jobless claims fall 11,000 to ultra-low 225,000

The numbers: Initial U.S. jobless claims, a tool to measure layoffs, fell by 11,000 to 225,000 in the seven days ended Dec 9. That’s just a few shades above the postrecession low.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 235,000.

The more stable monthly average of claims slipped by 6,750 to 234,750, the government said Thursday

The number of people already collecting unemployment benefits, known as continuing claims, dropped by 27,000 to 1.89 million.

What happened: The latest drop in claims puts them back near the lowest level since the early 1970s. The biggest declines took place in New York, Texas and California, the nation’s three largest states.

Unemployment is low everywhere. What’s to complain about?

Big picture: The U.S. labor market hasn’t been this good in a decade, maybe two. Layoffs are near a 45-year bottom and the unemployment rate is just 4.1%, the lowest in almost 17 years.

The economy is headed into 2018 with a good head of steam, some eight and a half years after the current expansion got underway.
Source: MarketWatch