There’s finally some good news from the U.S. labor market as applications for unemployment insurance fell for the second week in a row.

According to data from the Labor Department, initial unemployment claims fell to 243,000 in the week ended August 20th, a decrease of 2,000. A Bloomberg survey of economists called for a median estimate of 252,000 new applications. Continuing claims for state benefits also fell, coming in at 1.42 million in the week ended August 13th.

The four-week moving average rose slightly to 247,000.

The news implies that demand for labor is still high, as companies struggle to attract and retain employees despite worker shortages. However, some companies have been laying off workers or freezing hiring, especially those in the technology sector. These practices could continue for some time as the Federal Reserve raises interest rates amid high demand and increasing inflation.

On an adjusted basis, initial claims declined to around 184,000 last week. The largest declines in initial claims came from New Jersey, Indiana, and California. However, Massachusetts saw an outsized increase.

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