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Economic Report: Jobless claims hover near historic lows, up to 260,000

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Job seekers are finding it a lot easier to find jobs with layoffs near the lowest level since the 1970s.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)—Some 260,000 people applied for unemployment benefits in early September, up 1,000 from the prior week but still near the lowest level in decades.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast a 265,000 reading in the week stretching from Sept. 4 to Sept. 10.

Initial jobless claims slipped below 300,000 in 2015 and have stayed there for 80 straight weeks, the longest stretch since 1970.

The low level of layoffs is a reflection of a tightening labor market in which unemployment has fallen below 5% and companies increasingly complain they cannot find enough skilled workers.

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