US Jobless Claims Data Point to Strengthening Labor Market

models of workers on situation vacant column of newspaper

By Lucia Mutikani

(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose less than expected last week and the four-week moving average of claims hit its lowest level since 2000, suggesting an abrupt slowdown in job growth in March was likely a fluke.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 281,000 for the week ended April 4, the Labor Department said on Thursday. It was the fifth straight week that claims remained below 300,000, a threshold that is associated with a strengthening labor market.