Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 32,000 for the week ending April 5, bringing the total to 300,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

This latest figure on unemployment applications is a near seven-year low, last matched in May 12, 2007 by 297,000.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, fell by 4,750 to 316,250, down from last week’s revised figure of 321,000.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending March 29, a decrease of 0.1 from the previous week’s unrevised rate of 2.2 percent,” the Labor Department report reads.

“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 29 was 2,776,000, a decrease of 62,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The last time insured unemployment was this low was January 19, 2008 when it was 2,770,000. The previous week’s level was revised up 2,000 from 2,836,000 to 2,838,000,” the report added.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 29 were California (+17,626), Oregon (+1,851), Ohio (+1,200), Kentucky (+1,119), and Illinois (+941).

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania (-2,007), Texas (-1,821), Missouri (-889), New Jersey (-774), and Puerto Rico (-538) posted the largest decreases in initial claims.

“Employers added 192,000 jobs in March and 197,000 in February, the Labor Department said last week. Hiring has picked up after a slowdown caused by harsh winter weather,” the Associated Press reported.

Markets are poised to have a strong trading day Thursday:

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