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Economic Report: Jobless claims drop 3,000 to 258,000

Bloomberg

Job seekers line up for open positions in Illinois.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell by 3,000 to 258,000, extending a period of extremely low layoffs last seen in the early 1970s.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total a seasonally adjusted 255,000 in the week stretching from Oct. 16 to Oct. 22.

Earlier this month new claims fell to a 43-year low of 246,000. Initial claims have been below the key 300,000 threshold for 86 straight weeks. The last time that happened was in 1970.

Sales have been strong enough to induce companies to hire more people this year despite a somewhat slower economy.

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