Jobless claims drop 4%
The number of initial jobless claims filed by unemployed Americans fell 4% last week to 385,000 initial claims filed on an seasonally adjusted basis, according to the most recent Labor Department survey. That compares to the 401,000 claims filed a week earlier, the department said in data released Thursday. Overall, the number of initial jobless claims filed by the unemployed dropped by 16,000, changing the tide from the previous week when the Department reported a 7% rise in jobless claims. The four-week moving average also dropped by 7,000 to 386,250 from 393,250 in the most recent week ending March 12. Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate continued to hover at 3%. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits also remained slightly under 9 million. Analysts with Econoday noted the most recent figures conform to what has become an "improving trend" in the number of filings submitted each week. Econoday added that the most recent drop is "reversing half of the prior week's rise." Write to Kerri Panchuk.