The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid dropped to a three-month low in the first week of March, the Labor Department said Thursday.
In the week ending March 8, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits edged down by 9,000 to 315,000, the lowest level since late November, the data showed.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, fell by 6,250 to 330,500, the lowest since early December, the figures showed.
The advance figure of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 1 stood at 2.855 million, down 48,000 from the previous week.
A sharp drop in the jobless claims over the past two weeks might suggest that the job market is ready to pick up after unusually cold weather in the past several months. The jobless claims have fluctuated between 325,000 and 348,000 this year.