The U.S. labor market continues to improve as the figure for last week’s new jobless claims dropped to its lowest point in the last four years, according to the most recent United States Department of Labor (DOL) report. Data for first-time claims for state unemployment benefits came in at 357,000, a drop of 6,000 from the previous week. The Labor Department calculates new unemployment claims for each week to track the number of persons filing for unemployment claims for the first time.
The DOL adjusted its jobless claims count from the prior week’s figure of by 4,000 to 363,000. The moving average for new claims came in at 361,750, a drop of 4,250. This represents a 13 percent decline over the past six-month period.
Reuters’ poll of economists predicted a job claim figure of 355,000. Economist surveyed also forecast that the forthcoming employment report would show a 203,004 jobs gain for March. If realized, it will be the fourth consecutive month of the creation of 200,000 or more jobs.
It also establishes the longest stretch of monthly employment growth of 200,000 or more jobs gained in nearly 13 years. The more than 243,000 jobs added in January constitute the largest number of jobs added in nine months.