WASHINGTON (CNNfn) - America's employment picture remains bright, with the number of initial unemployment claims filed in the week ended Feb. 27 declining by 8,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.
The number of initial claims was 286,000, compared with the revised total of 294,000 for the week before and well below the 299,000 claims predicted by analysts surveyed by Reuters.
The 4-week average of claims, considered a more accurate gauge of the current job situation, declined to 290,750 from a revised 293,000 the previous week. The current figure is the lowest since the 287,500 average of the four weeks ended Feb. 24, 1989.
The total number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits declined by 94,000, to 2,194,000 from 2,288,000 in the prior week.
The Treasury market turned lower following the report. The 30-year bond was down 7/32 to 93-13/32, yielding 5.70 percent; prior to the 8:30 a.m. ET release, the bond was down 1/32.
Among the states with the biggest increases in jobless claims were Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, all of which were socked by a snowstorm late in the week. The biggest decrease was 11,323 in California.