Published On: Thu, May 3rd, 2012

US Unemployment Applications Fall

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, making it the biggest drop in more than three months, showing signs of hope for a labor market that has shown signs of weakening.

In the week ending April 28, unemployment applications fell 27,000, to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, reported the Labor Department Thursday.

Separately, the Labor Department reported that productivity fell at an annual rate of 0.5 percent in the first quarter, the biggest drop in a year. In the previous quarter, it had reportedly increased at an annual rate of 1.2 percent.

The four-week moving average of claims which smooths out week-to-week volatility, increased by 750 from the previous week’s revised average of 382,750.

The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.6 percent for the week ending April 21, unchanged from the prior week.

In March, US employers added 120,000 nonfarm jobs, half the amount of jobs added in February.

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