Jobless claims in the U.S. have reached their second lowest level in more than four decades, indicating that employers are laying off fewer employees and unemployed Americans are finding their way back to consistent work.
On Oct. 6, the Department of Labor released its latest jobless report, finding that first-time filings for unemployment benefits was 249,000 during the last week of September. The number of unemployment claims is the second lowest since 1973, The Hill reports.
Before 2016, the lowest week of jobless claims was 252,250 on Dec. 8, 1973. That record was broken in April 2016, when the filings for unemployment benefits dropped to 248,000.
Only 2.06 million Americans receive unemployment benefits. Jobless claims have remained below the 300,000 threshold for the past 83 weeks, which is the longest record since 1970.
The U.S. government will release a September jobs report on Oct. 7. Between 165,000 to 175,000 are expected to have been created in the past month.
On Oct. 5, payroll processor ADP released a report indicating that the private sector only added 154,000 jobs in September, the smallest amount in the last five months. This could be attributable to an economy inching closer towards full employment.
Following the Great Recession, the unemployment rate peaked at 10 percent in October 2009. By August 2016, that number had dropped to 4.9 percent, Vice News reports.
The year 2015 marked the largest one-year increase in U.S. median household income in the past 50 years. Last year, the median income rose by 5.2 percent, the first increase since 2007. The median household income in 2015 was still 1.6 percent below what it was before the Great Recession.
On Sept. 28, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the House Financial Services Committee that while the growing job rate was encouraging, it was not sustainable unless interest rates rise, Bloomberg reports.
“If we allow the economy to overheat, we could be faced with having to raise interest rates more rapidly than we would want,” Yellen said.