March 1 (UPI) -- Jobless claims in the United States fell to their lowest level in nearly 50 years, Department of Labor statistics showed Thursday.
New claims fell by about 10,000 to 210,000 at the end of last week, the data showed -- the lowest level since Dec. 6, 1969, when that figure was at 202,000.
The four-week moving average of claims was 220,500, a decrease of 5,000 from the previous week -- also its lowest level since December 1969.
Experts say the falling claims indicates companies are having trouble finding skilled employees to replace workers. However, the continuing claims of those already unemployed has increased to 1.9 million, the report shows.
Claims in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands have not returned to normal, the Labor Department noted.
Overall, the unemployment rate of 4.1 percent matches a 17-year low.