March 19, 2009

Jobless claims fall in week

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment insurance declined by 12,000 during the week ending March 14, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The 646,000 initial benefits claims contributed to a four-week rolling average to 654,000, which was an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's rolling average.

The U.S. unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.1 percent.

The biggest increases in claims for the week ending March 7 were reported by Indiana with 5,603 additional claims; Pennsylvania, which added 4,702; and Texas, which added 4,007, the report said.

For the week ending March 7, the biggest decreases were reported by New York with a decline of 11,218 claims; Connecticut, declining by 2,254; and Tennessee with 2,153 fewer claims than the week of Feb. 28.

State-by-state statistics lag a week behind the national report.