Initial Jobless Claims Fall

Washington, DC, March 29, 2007--First-time claims for state unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in more than two months in the week ending March 24, the Labor Department reported Thursday.


Seasonally adjusted initial claims fell by 10,000 to 308,000.


The four-week average of new claims--which economists consider a better gauge of underlying activity because it smoothes out one-time events such as holidays and weather -- fell by 7,250 to 316,750.


The initial-claims figure is the lowest since January 13, while the four-week average is the lowest since February 3.

Meanwhile, the number of people collecting unemployment checks rose by 32,000 to 2.52 million in the week ending March 17, the highest since March 3.


The four-week average of continuing claims fell by 24,250 to 2.53 million, the lowest in five weeks.


The insured unemployment rate--the portion of all workers covered by unemployment insurance who are collecting benefits--remained at 1.9%.