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WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week as the number of Americans receiving jobless benefits hit a record low.

In this article you will find information about WASHINGTON (AP) – Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, as the number of Americans receiving jobless benefits hit a record high.The number of unemployed fell by 11,000 to 200,000 for the week ended May 28, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Early applications often track the number of laid-off employees.

The four-week average claim, which partially offset weekly volatility, fell 500 from the previous week to 206.5k. The total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits for the week ending May 21 fell from the previous week to 1,309,000, the lowest since Dec. 27, 1969. U.S. workers enjoy historically strong job security two years after the coronavirus pandemic pushed the economy into a short but devastating recession. Weekly unemployment remained below pre-pandemic levels of 225,000 for most of 2022. Last month, the government said U.S. employers created 428,000 jobs in April, bringing the unemployment rate to 3.6%, above the lowest level in half a century. Job growth has stabilized significantly amid the worst inflation in four decades, and employers added at least 400,000 jobs over the next 12 months. The government’s May jobs report will be released Friday, and many predict 400,000 new jobs will be lost. Economists surveyed by FactSet noted that 323,000 U.S. jobs were created in May, the fewest in about a year and a half. On Wednesday, a separate government jobs report said the number of job openings in the economy fell slightly in April, but was still significantly higher (11.4 million) than the number of unemployed.

Healthy job openings suggest that businesses are still trying to add headcount and grow, even as inflation hovers near 40-year highs and the Federal Reserve begins to accelerate the fastest rate hike since the 1980s. Last month, the government said U.S. producer prices rose 11% in April from a year earlier, suggesting that high inflation will continue to burden consumers and businesses in the months ahead.

Consumer inflation eased slightly in April after several months of steady growth, but remained near a four-year high. Consumer prices rose 8.3% year-over-year last month, just below March’s 8.5% year-over-year increase, the highest level since 1981.

In early May, the Federal Reserve stepped up its fight against inflation by raising its benchmark short-term interest rate by half a percentage point, signaling further significant rate hikes. There was speculation that the Fed might consider pausing rate hikes at its September meeting, but those hopes were dashed following Wednesday’s report from the Institute for Supply Management, which showed that the volume of output growth increased last month, contrary to economists’ expectations of a slowdown.