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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Show Unexpected Decrease

3/22/2012 8:40 AM ET

First-time claims for unemployment benefits showed an unexpected decrease in the week ended March 17th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, with claims falling to their lowest level in four years.

The report showed that initial jobless claims fell to 348,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 353,000. The drop surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge up to 352,000 from the 351,000 originally reported for the previous week.

With the unexpected decrease, jobless claims fell to their lowest level since coming in at 347,000 in the week ended March 8, 2008.

by RTT Staff Writer

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