U.S. Jobless Claims Fall Below 300,000

A day before Friday's slated release of March employment figures, The U.S. Labor Department reported that initial claims for unemployment insurance last week were a seasonally adjusted 299,000, some 5,000 claims fewer than the previous week's revised average of 304,000. For the week ending April 1, North Carolina, California, Pennsylvania, Texas and Ohio.

The department's four-week moving average, generally a better indicator of underlying labor market conditions because it smooths out week-to-week changes, also fell last week. The average was 308,500, a decrease of 2,750 claims from the previous week's revised average of 311,250.

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