US jobless claims fall to lowest in two months


Washington (AFP)

US unemployment claims fell again in the second week of September, reaching their lowest level in two months in a strong jobs market, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance, an indicator of the prevalence of layoffs, dropped to 252,000, a decrease of 8,000 claims from last week's level of 260,000.

Analysts had forecast 262,000 claims for the week ending September 17.

"This marks 81 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970," the Labor Department said in a statement.

The four-week moving average also fell to 258,500, down 2,250 from the previous week.

Labor markets are a key component in US policymakers' decisions on interest rates. The US Federal Reserve on Wednesday announced it was keeping interest rates unchanged at their historically low levels to continue economic stimulus.