The U.S. Labor Department said first-time jobless benefits claims rose 2,000 to 336,000 in the week that ended last Saturday. Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell from a revised 334,000 from the previous week. Last week's number of claims had been reported at 332,000.
The four-week rolling average for the week dropped 7,500 to 339,750.
The largest increases in claims for the week that ended March 9 were in Georgia with a gain of 1,678, and Florida, which added 802. The largest decreases were in New York and California, with drops of 7,248 and 6,189, respectively.
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