Unemployment Claims at|43-Year Low in March

     (CN) – The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped dramatically in March, to the lowest level in 43 years, the Labor Department announced Thursday.
     The agency says weekly applications for jobless benefits fell 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 253,000.
     At the same time, the number of people collecting benefits declined 4.9 percent to 2.17 million.
     In other news announced Thursday, real average hourly earnings for all employees increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent from February to March.
     The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the rate of increase stems from a combination of factors a 0.3 percent increase in average hourly earnings, which was offset by a 0.1-percent increase in the Consumer Price Index for city dwellers.
     Real average weekly earnings increased 0.2 percent over the month due to the increase in real average hourly earnings combined with no change in the average workweek, the bureau said.

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