TIME Economy

Jobless Claims Drop to Lowest Level Since 2007

Construction worker installs storm water drain pipes at a hydrolysis wastewater treatment project in Washington, D.C., March 18, 2014.
Construction worker installs storm water drain pipes at a hydrolysis wastewater treatment project in Washington, D.C., March 18, 2014. Evelyn Hockstein—Polaris

Newly released figures show 300,000 people filed for unemployment claims last week, the lowest level since before the recession, suggesting employers are dismissing fewer workers. But if the job market is going to continue bouncing back, they'll have to start hiring more

The number of people filing for unemployment claims dropped to the lowest level in nearly 7 years last week, as the job market shows signs of rebounding after the recession.

Jobless claims last week fell to 300,000, down 32,000 from a week earlier and the lowest since May 12, 2007, before the onset of the recession, the Labor Department said Friday. The four-week average—a more stable indicator of labor market conditions—was down to 316,250, a drop from 321,00 the week before.

The drop in jobless claims, which surpassed estimates from all 52 economists surveyed by Bloomberg, indicates companies dismissed fewer people and suggests employers that are expecting growth are holding onto workers.

The Labor Department said last week that employers added 192,000 jobs in March, and the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.7%.

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