Richard Levine | Corbis | Getty Images
Job seekers attend the CUNY Big Apple Job and Internship Fair at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York.
The number of people out of work fell last week to their lowest level since November 1969, a sign The labor market remains strong despite the partial state closure in the fifth week.
The Labor Department said on Thursday that weekly jobless claims dropped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 199,000. The four-week average, a less volatile number, fell 5,500 to 215,000.
The number of refugee federal workers requesting unemployment assistance rose to 25,419, more than twice as high as in the previous week. These numbers are recorded separately from other jobless claims.
Weekly jobless claims are a substitute for layoffs. The data suggest that employers are confident enough to hold onto their employees. The Labor Ministry was funded before the deadlock and is still publishing its weekly report.