The number of initial jobless claims filed by unemployed Americans fell to 388,000 in the week ending March 26, down from last week's upwardly revised figure of 394,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Jobless claims have declined for three consecutive weeks, and the Labor Department said the most-recent data reflects the annual revision to the weekly unemployment claims seasonal adjusted factors. The four-week moving average rose to 394,250 from the previous week's average of 391,000.
Analysts with Econoday projected claims of 380,000 for last week with a range of estimates between 370,000 and 385,000.
"The data include benchmark revisions including a sizable 12,000 upward revision to the prior week to 394,000. Following the revisions, the latest four-week average, at 394,250 for a 3,250 increase, doesn't show much change from the late February readings," Econoday said.
"The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged at 3%," Econoday said, adding "demand for risk is fading slightly in early reaction to this report, which may scale back bullish expectations for robust strength in tomorrow's monthly employment report."