The US labor market tightened further last week, with jobless claims dropping to its lowest level since the start of this year.
Source: US Department of Labor
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Initial filings for unemployment insurance amount to 214,000 for the week ended March 12, better than Dow Jones estimate for 220,000 and a decrease of 15,000 from the prior week.
The total was the lowest since January 1 and signaled that the market and its 3.8% unemployment rate was close to full employment.
The four-week moving average, which measures weekly volatility in the numbers, also fell, decreasing 8,750 to 223,000.
Continuing claims, which runs a week behind the headline figures, dropped by 71,000 to 1.42 million, the lowest level since February 21, 1970.