Jobless claims sink by 11,000
New claims last week for state unemployment benefits fell below Wall Street forecast at 302,000.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - New claims for jobless benefits fell more than Wall Street expected last week, hinting at a strengthening labor market, a government report showed Thursday.
Initial claims for state unemployment insurance benefits fell to 302,000 in the week ended March 18 from an upwardly revised 313,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said.
Economists polled by Briefing.com had projected a fall to 305,000 from the 309,000 initially reported for the week ended March 11.
The closely watched four-week moving average of new claims, which flattens weekly volatility to provide a better picture of the job market, climbed by 6,000 to 305,000 in the week ended March 18.
The number of continued claims -- a measure of how many people remained on benefit rolls after drawing an initial week of aid – climbed by 38,000 to 2.47 million during the week of March 11, which are the latest figures available.
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