The Labor Department announced Thursday that weekly, first-time applications for unemployment benefits have fallen to 262,000, the lowest number of applications since April 2000.
Bloomberg notes that the news comes as job openings are at a 14-year high. Other reports released Thursday showed increased consumer spending in March, even though U.S. GDP expanded just 0.2 percent in the first quarter. The Labor Department also found that U.S. workers' paychecks increased at a faster pace in the first quarter.
In addition to a decrease in aid applications, the number of people receiving federal aid also fell by 74,000 to 2.25 million, the lowest number since December 2000. "The trend in claims, below the pre-recession trough, continues to impress," Derek Lindsey, an analyst at BNP Paribas, told The Associated Press, adding that March's low jobs numbers "may have been a blip in an otherwise solid trend."
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