Graphic from Time
Marketwatch: New applications for U.S. jobless benefits fell by 20,000 to 368,000 in the week of Feb. 26, the lowest level in nearly three years, the Labor Department reported Thursday.The last time claims were that low was in May 2008.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected first-time jobless claims to rise to a seasonally adjusted 398,000 from last week’s revised level of 388,000.
….The four-week average is considered a more accurate gauge of employment trends because it lessens week-to-week volatility in the data. The decline in claims, which have fallen 27% since last August, appears to be consistent with a modest pace or hiring and fewer layoffs.
Continuing claims, meanwhile, declined by 59,000 to 3.77 million in the week of Feb. 19. About 9.24 million people received some kind of state or federal benefit in the week of Feb. 12, up 74,000 from the week before.
Chart from here
Washington Post: Stocks jumped Thursday after a government report showed that the number of people filing for unemployment benefits dropped unexpectedly last week. Retailers also reported solid February sales.
The Labor Department said first-time claims for unemployment benefits fell to 368,000. That’s the lowest level for claims since May 2008. Economists had expected them to rise.