WASHINGTON, March 16 (Xinhua) -- The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid slid to 241,000, echoing a stable job market, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.
In the week ending March 11, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits was 241,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the unrevised level of the previous week, the department said.
The four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility increased 750 from the previous week's unrevised average to 237,250.
This marks 106 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, a benchmark for real job growth or loss in the economy, the longest streak since 1970.
Meanwhile, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 4 fell 30,000 from the previous week to 2,030,000.
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 235,000 in February, and the jobless rate edged down from January's 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent, said the Labor Department last week.
"We've seen the labor market that has healed quickly and kept generating impressive job growth," said Ulrik Bie, chief economist for global macro at the Institute of International Finance (IIF).