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Jobless claims fall to lowest level since 2007

Down 2 million from last year

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The number of Americans making their initial claims for unemployment fell to the lowest level since May 12, 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In the week ending April 5, there were 300,000 seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims, which is 32,000 lower than the previous week. That marks the lowest number of unemployment claims since the 297,000 claims in the week of May 12, 2007.

The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1%, which is down 0.1% from the previous week. The number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 29 was 2,776,000, a decrease of 62,000 from the previous week's revised level.

The last time insured unemployment was this low was January 19, 2008, when it was 2,770,000.

The number of actual initial claims under state programs, unadjusted, was 298,393 in the week ending April 5, an increase of 3,531 (or 1.2%) from the previous week. This was 10% lower than analyst expectations for the week. Analysts expected an increase of 34,865 (or 11.8%) from the previous week.

The total number of people claiming unemployment benefits in all programs for the week ending March 22 was 3,164,203, a decrease of 37,301 from the previous week.

That figure was down over 2 million from the same period in 2013, when there were 5,270,782 people claiming benefits.

The states with the highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 22 were in Alaska (5.2), New Jersey (3.9), Connecticut (3.7), California (3.6), Rhode Island (3.6), Illinois (3.5), Pennsylvania (3.5), Puerto Rico (3.4), Massachusetts (3.2), Montana (3.1), Wisconsin (3.1), and Maine (3.0).

The states that saw the largest increases in initial jobless claims for the week ending March 29 were California (up by 17,626 due to layoffs in the service industry), Oregon by 1,851), Ohio (up by 1,200 due to layoffs in the manufacturing and information industries), Kentucky (up by 1,119), and Illinois (up by 941).

The largest decreases were in Pennsylvania (down 2,007 due to fewer layoffs in the food service and construction industries), Texas (down 1,821 due to fewer layoffs in the manufacturing, support services and information industries), Missouri (down 889), New Jersey (down 774), and Puerto Rico (down 538).

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