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U.S. weekly jobless claims drop to near 49-year low

The number of Americans who filed new claims for unemployment aid is at a 49-year low last week. In addition, private payrolls rose in August.

“The economy is in overdrive with jobless claims at lows not seen since the 1960s, and this gives the Fed the green light to raise interest rates later this month and take away some of the economy’s punch,” said Chris Rupkey, chief economist at MUFG in New York.

The Labor Department said on Thursday initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 203,000 for the week ended Sept. 1, the lowest level since December 1969.

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