Jobless claims were down again last week – to 234,000. This indicates that companies are not engaging in lay-offs. This is good news! Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market, for 110 straight weeks. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller. According to sources, the labor market may be close to full employment, with the unemployment rate at a near 10-year low of 4.5 percent. Additionally, the average person who has been let go is finding a new job within 60 days in many cases (depending on the level of the position).