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Published: Thursday, 3/15/2012

Weekly jobless claims fall to lowest in 4 years


WASHINGTON — Jobless claims last week fell to their lowest point in four years, matching a level that was also reached a month ago and sparking more optimism that the employment market may be on the mend.

Labor Department figures showed that applications for jobless insurance payments for the week that ended March 10 slipped by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 351,000.

That’s the fewest applications since March, 2008 — not counting the week in February that saw a similar slump in claims.

The four-week moving average, which is considered more stable than the weekly numbers, remained unchanged from the previous week’s 355,750.

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