WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people applying for unemployment
benefits plummeted last week, reversing nearly all the sharp rise
reported the previous week.
The Labor Department says that the number of people seeking
benefits dropped 44,000 to a seasonally adjusted 434,000. That is
the steepest weekly fall since February 2010.
The drop suggests that the increase of 47,000 reported two weeks
ago was mostly due to temporary factors. The state of New York
reported that applications jumped by more than 24,000 two weeks
ago, because more school systems had spring break than usual. That
led to a spike in temporary layoffs.
Still, applications are far above the 375,000 level typically
consistent with sustainable job growth. Weekly applications peaked
during the recession at 659,000.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)