AP NEWS

Jobless claims fall to half-century low

April 4, 2019

Weekly claims for unemployment benefits fell to their lowest mark since 1969, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday, even as a separate report suggested a sharp increase in corporate layoffs.

DOL estimated 202,000 U.S. workers applied for jobless benefits in the final week of March, including more than 1,960 in Connecticut. About 40,200 people in Connecticut received unemployment benefits as of the end of March, 900 fewer than the previous week.

The job outplacement services provider Challenger, Gray & Christmas estimated separately on Thursday a 10 percent increase in layoffs in the first quarter of the year, the biggest increase in more than three years with the retail sector particularly hard hit.

In the first quarter, New England Motor Freight was the only Connecticut company to have notified the state Department of Labor of a mass layoff, jettisoning more than 120 workers based in Meriden after declaring bankruptcy last year.

Alex.Soule@scni.com; 203-842-2545; @casoulman