Initial Jobless Claims Fall

Published by: Mike Goldman on 31st Mar 2011 | View all blogs by Mike Goldman
Initial Jobless Claims Fall

The US Labor Department released its weekly jobs report Thursday, offering evidence that the nation's labor market is indeed improving.  Initial claims for jobless benefits fell 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 last week.  Analysts participating in a recent Reuters poll had forecast claims would drop to 380,000 after the prior week's figure was revised up to 394,000 from the originally reported 382,000.

The agency's four-week moving average of claims, a measure designed to smooth out week to week seasonal variances, climbed 3,250 to 394,250.  The data from last week will not be included in the closely monitored monthly employment report, which is scheduled for a Friday release.  Analysts expect that report to show nonfarm payrolls increased 190,000 in March after another solid expansion of 192,000 in February.

Claims have now held steady under the 400,000 level for four weeks in a row.  The level is associated by economists with steady growth in the job market.  The four week average has been under the mark now for five weeks.

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