A Tiny Green Shoot From Jobless Claims

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There are very few green shoots out there when it comes to jobs. Almost all the data has been disappointing. Here’s a tiny one, in the form of new jobless benefits, though bear in mind that this is a very volatile stat, which changes from week to week.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of new claims for jobless benefits has fallen to the lowest level in the U.S. since early January, as employers cut fewer workers.

The labour Department says first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped last week to a seasonally adjusted 521,000, from the previous week’s upwardly revised total of 554,000.

That’s better than the 540,000 that Wall Street economists expected, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The drop is the fourth in five weeks. The four-week average, which smooths fluctuations, fell to 539,750, the lowest since Jan. 17.

The number of people continuing to claim benefits declined by 72,000 to 6.04 million. Analysts expected continuing claims to rise slightly.

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