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Weekly jobless claims drop, beating expectations

Claims hit lowest level since December

Employment data
KEYWORDS Economy / jobless
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Jobless claims beat expectations for the week of March 8 as initial claims fell 9,000 to a 315,000 level, beating most analyst predictions.

The four-week rolling average dropped 6,250 to 330,500, which is more than 5,000 below the month-ago comparison.

Continuing claims, which lag by one week, tell the same story, down 48,000 in the March 1 week to 2.86 million. The four-week average is down 19,000 to 2.92 million, roughly 50,000 below a month ago.

The report comes on the heels of the jobs data released Friday showing 175,000 jobs added in February.

Last week’s initial jobless claims report showed claims fell a sizable 26,000 in the March 1 week to a much lower-than-expected 323,000.

The four-week average was down 2,000 to 336,500 but was still a little high and was slightly above the month-ago comparison. Continuing claims were also moving lower, down 8,000 in lagging data for the February 22 week to 2.9 million.

The four-week average was down 15,000 to a 2.928 million level that is more than 50,000 below a month ago.

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