US applications for jobless claims hold at healthy levels


U.S. applications for jobless benefits were unchanged last week, settling at a healthy level as the labor market continues to show strength in the face of elevated interest rates.

Unemployment claims for the week ending March 2 were 217,000, matching the previous week's revised level, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The four-week average of claims, a less volatile measure, fell by 750 from the previous week to 212,250.

Weekly unemployment claims are broadly viewed as representative of the number of U.S. layoffs in a given week. They have remained at historically low levels since the pandemic purge of millions of jobs in the spring of 2020.

In total, 1.9 million Americans were collecting jobless benefits during the week that ended Feb. 24, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week and the most since November.