Fewer Americans apply for jobless benefits, labor market still showing strength

Fewer Americans applied for jobless benefits last week following a previous spike that many analysts took as a sign that higher interest rates were finally cooling the labor market. It turns out the recent jump in jobless benefit applications was largely due to fraudulent applications in Massachusetts, where claims fell this week by more than 14,000 from the previous week, analysts said. The Labor Department said Thursday that U.S. applications for jobless claims for the week ending May 13 fell by 22,000 to 242,000. The weekly claims numbers are broadly as representative of the number of U.S. layoffs.