WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The weekly jobless claims fell against all odds. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the lowest level in four years in the United States, said the Labor department on Thursday.
Economists on average had expected 354,000 jobless.
The four-week moving average stood at 355,000, against 356,250 the previous week (355,750 in the first estimate).
The number of people receiving regular benefits rose to 3.352 million during the week to March 10 against 3,361,000 the previous week.
Despite the further improvement of the labor market in the U.S., the long-term unemployment remains a major concern: some 43% of the 12.8 million Americans unemployed in February that have not worked for over six months .