Reprinted from The New York Times by the Associated Press on August 17, 2017.
Fewer Americans applied for jobless aid last week, as the number of people seeking benefits remained close to historic lows.
THE NUMBERS: Weekly unemployment applications fell by 12,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 232,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less volatile four-week average slipped 500 to 240,500. The number of people collecting unemployment benefits has fallen 9 percent over the past 12 months to 1.9 million.
THE TAKEAWAY: The job market appears solid as the US enters its ninth year of recovery from the Great Recession. Employers are holding onto workers with the expectation that business will continue to improve. Jobless claims, which closely track layoffs, have come in below 300,000 for 128 weeks in a row. That’s the longest such stretch since 1970, when the U.S. population was much smaller. …