New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week, indicating continued job growth after a slowdown in March.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 232,000 for the week ended April 14, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was unrevised.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims falling to 230,000 in the latest week.
The economy created 103,000 jobs in March, the fewest in six months. Economists largely dismissed the slowdown as payback after strong gains in February. They also blamed cooler temperatures for the moderation in hiring.
The labor market is considered to be near or at full employment. The unemployment rate is at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent, not far from the Federal Reserve’s forecast of 3.8 percent by the end of this year.