The U.S. Labor Department said first-time jobless benefits claims dropped 7,000 to 340,000 in the week that ended last Saturday. Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell from a revised 347,000 from the previous week. Last week's number of claims had been reported at 344,000.
The four-week rolling average for the week dropped 7,000 to 348,750.
Last week's rolling average was revised to 355,750, up from 355,000.
The largest increases in claims for the week that ended Feb. 23 were in Massachusetts with a jump of 4,024 and North Carolina with a gain of 1,995. The largest declines were in California and New York with drops of 40,352 and 2,070, respectively.
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