Initial unemployment claims declined by 5,000 to 359,000, the Department of labour said this morning.
The number, which is above economist predictions for a 350,000 reading, was better than last week’s upwardly revised figure of 364,000. An advance reading for that week came in at 348,000.
The reading represents a substantial improvement from just one year ago, when the Department of labour saw 401,000 new claims.
According to the DoL, “The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 17 were in Florida (+1,876), Hawaii (+469), Mississippi (+405), New Mexico (+292), and Iowa (+278), while the largest decreases were in New York (-3,103), Texas (-1,787), Pennsylvania (-1,606), California (-1,603), and Ohio (-1,419).”
Continuing claims declined by 41,000 for the week ending March 17, with 3.340 million Americans remaining on benefit. Economists had projected the number would drop just 2,000 to 3.350 million.
Minutes away from this morning’s big economic announcement: initial unemployment claims.
Economists polled by Bloomberg forecast the headline number will tick slightly higher to 350,000, up from 348,000 last week.
Weekly claims have been range bound over the past several weeks, falling between 340,000 and 370,000.
Consensus for continuing claims, or those individuals still receiving unemployment benefits, are seen declining marginally to 3.350 million from 3.352 million.
The Department of labour will release its report at 8:30 a.m. Follow the announcement live here >
NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.