Jobless claims in the week that ended March 15 stayed close to the three-month low seen the previous week, showing that the labor market is improving. The number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits totaled 320,000, up just 5,000 from the week before, according to the Labor Department.
The figures for the week ending on March 15 are lower then what experts originally predicted. According to a survey conducted by Bloomberg, economists predicted the median total of claims would rise to 322,000. Jim O'Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics, told Bloomberg these figures are promising.
"Claims remain extremely encouraging," O'Sullivan said. "They're signaling that the net slowing in payrolls gains in the last few months is weather-related and temporary, and we're due for some catch-up in payrolls over the next couple months."
At a press conference on March 19, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said the harsh winter played a factor in the slow economic activity during the first quarter of 2014. Yellen also announced that starting in April, the Fed will be trimming its monthly bond purchasing again, which is a sign the economy and labor market are improving.
The four-week average of jobless claims decreased from 330,500 to 327,000, the best measure since the end of November. Much of the decrease is due to a diminished amount of layoffs. Guy Berger, an economist with RBS, said the unemployment numbers are on pace with job growth in the country.
"Layoffs have experienced a small underlying improvement during the first half of March," Berger told Reuters. "That would be consistent with expectations of a bounce in employment growth in March."
Manufacturers who are looking to looking to hire experienced workers can enlist the services of manufacturing recruiters to help them in their search.