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The Number of Americans Looking for Unemployment Aid Falls to 4-Month Low

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Down by thousands.

MIAMI, FL - MAY 02: People looking for work stand in line to apply for a job during a job fair at the Miami Dolphins Sun Life stadium on May 2, 2013 in Miami, Florida. If voters approve a hotel tax hike to fund stadium renovations the jobs would be available. If not, the Dolphins management is indicating they would not be able to renovate the stadium nor create the jobs. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

Applications for jobless benefits decreased by 10,000 for the week ending March 22, bringing the total to 311,000, down from last week’s revised figure of 321,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

This latest figure marks an official four-month low for unemployment aid.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, fell by 9,500 to 317,750, down from last week’s revised figure of 327,250.

"The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.2 percent for the week ending March 15, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate,” the report reads.

“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 15 was 2,823,000, a decrease of 53,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,876,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,862,500, a decrease of 31,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,894,000,” it adds.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 15 were California (+3,189), Nebraska (+1,044), Virginia (+513), Missouri (+492) and Tennessee (+474).

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania (-3,166), Illinois (-2,320), New York (-2,155), Texas (-1,373), and Wisconsin (-1,055) posted the largest decreases in initial claims.

“About 3.3 million people received benefits in the week ending March 8, the latest data available. That was about 43,000 fewer than the previous week,” the Associated Press reported.

Markets are poised to open mostly lower:

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