New claims for unemployment benefits fell 8,000 to 207,000 in the second week of July, the Department of Labor reported Thursday morning, the lowest such number since 1969.

Forecasters had expected new jobless claims to edge up to around 220,000. Instead, fewer people sought unemployment insurance than any time in 48 years.

Thursday’s benchmark is especially impressive given that the labor force is twice as large as it was in late 1969.

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