Data on initial jobless claims in the United States show that the level of claims remains near four year lows, since March 2008, signalling an improving labour market.
New applications for U.S. unemployment benefits released by the Labour Department today show that initial claims fell by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 351,000 in the week ended February 25. The level of claims is an indicator of whether layoffs are rising or falling.
Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 353,000 from 351,000. Expectations were for a drop to 350,000.
Meanwhile, four-week average of claims remain at a four-year low, falling 5,500 to 354,000, keeping it. The monthly average provides a more accurate view of labour-market trends by reducing week-to-week gyrations caused by seasonal quirks.
Despite improving jobs data, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said in his testimony to Congress on Wednesday that the “job market remains far from normal”.