US initial jobless claims drop sharply

Washington, April 12 (IANS) The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid fell sharply last week after a jump in the previous week, the US Labor Department reported.

The advance figure for seasonally-adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits was 346,000 in the week ending April 6, down 42,000 from the revised figure of 388,000 in the previous week, reported Xinhua.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, edged up to 358,000 from 355,000 in the previous week. A reading below 375,000 generally indicates a sustained drop in the unemployment rate.

The advance figure for seasonally-adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 30 stood at 3.079 million, down 12,000 from the previous week.

The decreasing claims for jobless benefits last week eased concerns that the labour market was getting worse because of the impact of the roughly $85 billion in government spending cuts starting March 1.

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