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Jobless claims are near a 50-year low and it's no fluke

Data: Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis; Chart: Axios Visuals

U.S. employment numbers continue to get better. Data released yesterday showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to its lowest in almost 50 years last week.

Why it matters: More important than the single print was the direction of the trend. The 4-week moving average of initial claims fell to 201,250 last week, the lowest reading since November 1969.

The big picture: That sustained trend, considered a more reliable indicator because it irons out week-to-week volatility, shows the labor market is consistently moving to historically low levels of unemployment, even if the metrics are a bit distorted.

Go deeper: A closer look at those unemployed and living far from jobs