However, despite the significant fall of 55,000, which left the total of first-time claims at 438,000, after the previous week’s revised total of 493,000, the drop in first-time claims is still below expectations.
It reflects the recent pickup in claims, which occurred following the recent extension in benefits as part of the economic stimulus package.
Further, the number of US workers remaining unemployed increased to its highest level in almost 20 years, reaching 3.78 million for the week ending March 30, the latest week for which data are available.
The four-week moving average, considered a better barometer of the employment situation since it irons out weekly fluctuations, increased to 433,750, its highest level this year.
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