Fewer Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed last week than economists expected.
New applications for state unemployment benefits held near the 48-year low of last week, indicating that employers are increasingly holding on to their employees.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits came in at a seasonally adjusted 211,000 for the week ended May 5, according to a Labor Department report released Thursday. That was unchanged from the week prior. Claims dropped to 209,000 during the week ended April 21, which was the lowest level since December 1969.
Economists had forecast claims rising to 218,000 in the latest week.