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

Additional Stories

Scoop: Top Homeland Security aide resigns amid tensions with White House

McAleenan testifies at a House committee hearing in July. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan's top aide and spokesperson is resigning amid frustration in the White House over the Department of Homeland Security's handling of major policy rollouts and White House distrust of McAleenan and his inner circle, sources familiar with his resignation tell Axios.

Why it matters: Andrew Meehan's departure comes amid broader internal tensions between the White House and DHS leadership. President Trump is wary of McAleenan, whom he associates with the Obama administration, and his top aides, several current and former administration officials tell us. These sources say Trump has no intention of formally nominating McAleenan for a permanent position.

U.S. laws don't cover campaign disinformation

A now-defunct loudspeaker system set up to bombard North Korea with South Korean messaging. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The international industry of disinformation-for-hire services has already reared its head in Western politics, and it's growing fast.

The big picture: There is no U.S. law that prevents candidates, parties or political groups from launching their own disinformation campaigns, either in-house or through a contractor, so long as foreign money isn't involved. It's up to individual candidates to decide their tolerance for the practice.

Mitch McConnell defends the Senate filibuster

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged Democrats to stop considering abolishing the filibuster Thursday, arguing "America needs the Senate to be the Senate" in a New York Times op-ed.

The state of play: The Kentucky senator, responding to calls to from his predecessor Harry Reid and a number of 2020 contenders to end the filibuster to move forward Democratic proposals on gun control and climate change, said it was "their half-baked proposals and not the centuries-old wisdom that need retooling."

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