Fewer Americans file for jobless claims last week

Matt Ott
Associated Press

Washington — The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell again last week with numbers still at historically low levels.

Jobless claims in the U.S. declined by 5,000 to 180,000 for the week ending April 23, the Labor Department reported Thursday. First-time applications generally reflect the number of layoffs.

The four-week average for claims, which evens out the weekly ups and downs, rose slightly to 179,750 from 177,500 the previous week.

The total number of Americans collecting jobless benefits for the week ending April 16 inched down by 1,000 from the previous week, to 1,408,000. That's the fewest since February 21, 1970.