Jobless claims at lowest level since 1973


WASHINGTON — The Miami Dolphins had just completed an undefeated season, winning Super Bowl XII by a score of 14-7 over the Washington Redskins. Roberta Flack’s “Killing Me Softly with His Song” was No. 1 on the Billboard charts.

The date was March 31, 1973, the last time initial jobless claims were lower than today’s figures, released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Labor. In March 1973, initial jobless claims were 222,000.

For the week ended Feb. 25 of this year, initial jobless claims were just 233,000, a decrease of 19,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

The year 1973 is also linked to today in another way. The current four-week moving average for initial jobless claims was 234,250, a decrease of 6,250 from the previous week’s revised average and the lowest level since April 14, 1973, when it was 232,750, and when Vicki Lawrence’s “The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia” topped the charts.

According to experts, this job report, as well as rising interest rates, could push the Federal Reserve to raise interest when it next meets in the middle of this month.

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