U.S. Jobless Claims Fall Sharply, Raising Hope Of Stable Economy

Unemployment claims: man examining paperwork
Jin Lee/Bloomberg

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, which could ease fears of a marked deterioration in labor market conditions after a surprise stumble in job growth in March.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 42,000 to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday, unwinding the jump in the prior week related to difficulties adjusting the data for seasonal variations. That was the largest weekly drop in jobless claims since mid-November.