Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Jobless Claims Down for March, Week

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

New Jobless Claims Down for March, Week

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The number of newly laid off Americans filing unemployment claims declined by 24,000 in the final week in March, with the four-week claims average falling to its lowest point since November, the government said Thursday.

The Labor Department said 432,000 Americans filed first-time claims for the week ending March 28, compared to 456,000 in the previous week.

Because the week-to-week changes in jobless claims can be so volatile, many economists prefer to track the four-week moving average. That figure declined to 441,750.

Labor Secretary Lynn Martin said the decline could be signaling that recent gains in personal income and business sales are beginning to show up in a strengthening labor market.

She noted that in the latest week, 16 states reported application declines of more than 1,000 while only one state, Arkansas, reported an increase of that magnitude.

Robert Dederick, an economist with Northern Trust Co. of Chicago, said he believed the drop in the four-week average was significant. …

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