Jobless Claims Fall By 32,000, Nearing Seven-Year Low
April 10, 2014 by UPI - United Press International, Inc.
WASHINGTON (UPI) — The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week, reaching its lowest level in almost seven years, suggesting a revival in the labor market.
New claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 32,000 to 300,000 for the week ending April 5, according to the Labor Department. The number is at its lowest since May 2007, months before the financial crisis, and the decline in claims is the largest since late 2012.
Economists polled by MarketWatch had estimated total claims to be 320,000, well above the actual figure. The Labor Department also revised the claims for the last week of March upward from 326,000 to 332,000.
The number of continuing claims — Americans claiming benefits for more than a week — for the week ending March 29 fell to its lowest mark since January 2008. Continuing claims fell by 62,000 to 2,776,000.
Jobless claims have been volatile over the past few months, with the harsh winter weather, delayed product shipments and curtailed shopping season. This week’s data shows some revival in the job market and a thaw in the winter chill. Economists have predicted that jobless claims could fall below 300,000 because of increased hiring and an upturn in second quarter growth.
A jobs report released last week by the Labor Department showed that hiring rebounded in March after slowing considerably in the prior two months, and brought some cheer to analysts and the markets.