Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The number of claims for unemployment benefits dropped last week, an indication that the U.S. job market is recovering slowly.
In the week ended March 22, claims for jobless benefits – a measure of layoff trends in the economy – dropped by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000, according to the Labor Department report released Thursday.
Economists had predicted 325,000 new claims for the week, according to a survey by the Dow Jones Newswires. In the week ended March 15, the number of first-time claims was upwardly revised to 321,000.
The four-week moving average, which is viewed as more reliable as it removes the volatility of the week-to-week data, dropped to 317,750 last week. The figure is the lowest since September.
The Labor Department said there was nothing special in the latest data.
In the week ended March 15, continuing unemployment-benefit claims, which are drawn by those who have been out of work for more than a week, declined by 53,000 to a seasonally adjusted 2,823,000. The data are reported with a one-week lag,