The number of Americans filing new application for claiming unemployment benefits dropped beyond expectations, signaling a strong and expanding labor market in the country.
The sustained strength of the country’s labor market underlines the solid fundamentals of the economy, suggesting a recent economic slowdown will be a temporary one.
The initial jobless claims for state benefits tumbled 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 282,000 during the week that ended March 21, according to a report by the Labor Department released on Thursday.
A strong dollar, softer global demand, recently settled labor dispute at the West Coast ports and hard weather condition led to the undercut of growth early in the first quarter.
This was the lowest level recorded since mid-February. It was also better than the expectations of the economists for a dip to 290,000. According to a Labor Department analyst, there was nothing strange in the state-level data.
Cheng Chen, an economist at TD Securities in New York, said, “The constructive trend in claims in recent weeks suggests that the positive labor market trend is continuing.”
The four-week moving average of claims also dropped 7,750 to 297,000 last week.
The US economy added 295,000 more jobs in the month of February, marking the 12th consecutive month that the gains in employment have been above 200,000, which is the longest run since 1994.
The jobless claims report showed that the number of people who were still receiving the unemployment benefits following an initial week of aid dropped 6,000 to 2.42 million in the week that ended March 14.
The so-called continuing jobless claims covered the period when the government surveyed several households for preparing the unemployment rate for March. The continuing unemployment claims increased marginally between the survey periods of February and March, indicating a little change in the jobless rate.
The rate of unemployment dropped in over 6-1/2-year low of 5.5 percent in the month of February.