The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits plunged to a 49-year low last week.
The number of new claims fell by 10,000 to 210,000 for the week ending Feb. 24, the lowest level since 1969, according to the Department of Labor.
The latest numbers reflect the strongest jobs market boom in decades and signal that President Donald Trump policies continue to drive positive change in the U.S. economy.
The new numbers surpass a forecast by economists surveyed by Marketwatch and Reuters who expected the claims to total 226,000. The four-week average for unemployment claims, a less volatile index, fell by 5,000 to 220,000—also the lowest level since 1969.
“The latest decline in weekly claims shows a tight labor market is increasingly pushing employers to hold on to existing staff amid a persistent shortage of qualified workers,” Bloomberg noted. “Applications for jobless benefits are well below the 300,000 tally that’s typically considered consistent with a healthy labor market.”
The Labor Department also revised the number of unemployment claims filed the prior week, saying that it was 2,000 lower than previously reported.
The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, Reuters reported. The Federal Reserve considers the market at or slightly beyond full employment.
The Labor Department noted that procedures for filing claims in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Island have not returned to normal since the two territories were hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Claims for Maine were estimated, the department said.
Jobless claims fell to a 45-year-low earlier this month, prompting a celebratory Tweet from President Donald Trump. The president, who often points to economic indicators as proof his policies are working, also took to Twitter when claims fell to the lowest level since 1973 in October last year.
Just out, but lightly reported: "Fewest jobless claims since 1973 show firm U.S. Job Market" Lowest since March 1973. @bpolitics
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 21, 2017
Trump spearheaded a range of reforms that are reflecting on the labor market and other economic indicators. Key among the president’s achievements is the tax-cut bill, which passed despite uniform opposition from Democrats. The reformed code lowered taxes for 90 percent of working Americans and slashed the corporate tax rate. Trump’s administration is also cutting regulations at an unprecedented rate, mandated by an executive order the president signed early in his term.
“Unemployment claims are at the lowest level since 1973. Much of this has to do with the massive cutting of unnecessary and job killing Regulations!” Trump wrote on Twitter on Feb. 24.