Labor market shows promising trends despite general economic downturn  

Applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell last week as the labor market continues to show strength, despite weakness in other parts of the economy, the Associated Press reports. 

The number of Americans filing for jobless claims for the week ending April 22 fell by 16,000 to 230,000. The four-week moving average of claims, which flattens some of the week-to-week volatility, fell by 6,000 to 236,000.  

Overall, 1.86 million people were collecting unemployment benefits the week that ended April 15, which was 3,000 fewer than the previous week. The weekly claims numbers continue to show that American workers are enjoying unusual job security despite rising interest rates, economic uncertainty, and fears of a looming recession. 

The unemployment rate came in at 3.5% last month, a tick above January’s half-century low of 3.4%. Employers added 236,000 jobs in March, down from 472,000 in January and 326,000 in February, but still strong by historic standards. 

Federal Reserve policymakers worry that a tight job market puts upward pressure on wages — and on overall prices.