Initial U.S. jobless claims drop to lowest level since 1973
US initial jobless claims fell by 6,000 to 247,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 253,000.
This marked the lowest level since November 24, 1973, when claims were at 233,000, and the 59th consecutive week claims were below 300,000.
Analysts had been expecting jobless claims to rise to 263,000.
The four-week moving average of new claims was 260,500, down 4,500 from the previous week's unrevised 265,000.
The four-week average is considered more reliable as it smooths out sharp fluctuations in the more volatile weekly figures, giving a more accurate picture of the health of the labour market. ■