Weekly U.S. jobless claims decline to 385,000
Weekly U.S. jobless claims decline to 385,000 (by Jeffry Bartash)
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - The number of people who filed applications for jobless benefits fell by 16,000 last week to 385,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. Claims in the prior week were revised up by 4,000 to 401,000. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected first-time claims to fall to a seasonally adjusted 389,000 in the week ended March 12. The four-week average of claims dropped 7,000 to 386,250. The four-week average is considered more accurate barometer of employment trends because it lessens week-to-week volatility in the data. Continuing claims decreased by 80,000 to 3.71 million. Altogether, 8.95 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week of Feb. 26, up almost 181,000 from the prior week.