Bloomberg (02/14/13) Shobhana Chandra
The number of Americans who applied last week for new jobless benefits fell sharply. Applications for initial unemployment benefits sank 27,000 to a seasonally adjusted 341,000 in the week ended Feb. 9, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. The level of filings was lower than any projection in a Bloomberg survey in which the median forecast was 360,000. Claims are now just slightly above a five-year low. The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, edged up by 1,500 to 352,500.