Bloomberg (03/22/12) Shobhana Chandra
The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits fell by 5,000 last week to 348,000, the lowest level since February 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Claims from two weeks ago were revised up to 353,000 from 351,000. The median forecast of 46 economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected 350,000. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls and those getting extended payments also fell. Dismissals have been waning and reports show companies are becoming more willing to expand work forces amid evidence sales are improving.