The number of Americans claiming first-time jobless benefits declined by 5,000 to a total of 457,000 new applicants for the week ending March 13th. However, the total number of people receiving unemployment benefits increased, as did the number of people receiving extended benefits.
Most analysts agree that overall, the US job market is improving but at a very slow pace. The four-week moving average of job claims decreased to 471,250 last week from 475,000 the week before, suggesting that if job growth remains on the current pace, the economy could return to a net increase in jobs within a few months.
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