Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The number of people who filed claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. climbed slightly last week but stayed near the lowest level in seven years, a sign of improvement in the job market.
In the week ended April 12, initial claims for unemployment benefits, a gauge of layoff trends, climbed 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 304,000, according to the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week moving average of claims, which removes the volatility in the weekly data, dropped to 312,000 claims, the lowest level since October 2007.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal projected 315,000 new claims last week. Many economists say there is stable job growth and an improving job market when jobless claims fall below 400,000.
Thursday’s report also showed that the level for prior week’s claims were revised upwardly revised to 302,000 from a previous reading of 300,000. No special factors impacted the data during the week, the Labor Department said. In the weeks after the winter months, jobless claims have been steadily improving.
In the week ended April 5, the number of continuing unemployment benefit claims — drawn by workers for more than one week — fell by 11,000 to 2,739,000. The figure for continuing claims, which are reported with a one-week lag, marked the lowest level since December 2007.