In the week ending August 19, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 234,000, an increase of 2,000 from last week's unrevised level of 232,000. The 4-week moving average was 237,750, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week's unrevised average of 240,500.
“Last week’s reading was the lowest level since February and the second lowest since the current economic expansion began in 2009. The last time claims were as low was in 1973,” MarketWatch reports. “Economists said businesses have been reluctant to fire workers out of a concerned they might not be able to find replacements on short notice.”