The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits was little changed last week near the lowest level in seven years as employers held on to staff in an improving economy.
Claims decreased by 1,000 to 298,000 in the week ended Aug. 23 from 299,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 46 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 300,000.
Claims have been hovering near the lowest levels since 2007 as the labor market continues to make progress. Now, it’s up to hiring to cut slack enough to force employers to raise pay, which, in turn, could spur more household spending.