New unemployment claims decline by 10,000

By Ben Rooney, staff reporter

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 last week, while the overall jobless rolls also declined, according to a government report released Thursday.

There were 382,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended April 2, the Labor Department said. The figure was down from the previous week's revised 392,000.

Economists were expecting 386,000 initial claims in the latest report, according to consensus estimates gathered by

Initial claims filings have been on the decline for several months, raising hopes that the recovery in the job market is gaining steam. The government said last week that the U.S. economy added 216,000 jobs in March, while the unemployment rate edged down to 8.8%.

In addition to the drop in initial claims, the number of Americans filing ongoing claims for unemployment benefits fell 9,000 to 3,723,000 in the week ended March 26, the most recent week available. To top of page

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