The number of Americans filing for new unemployment benefits dropped to a four-year low last week, indicating that the U.S. economy was inching out of a recession.
Initial claims for jobless benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the lowest number since February 2008. Economists had predicted that the claims would actually rise.
According to Reuters, a four-week moving average for new claims, considered by many to be a better measure, declined 1,250 to 355,000. Employers added 227,000 jobs to the nation's payrolls in February, keeping the unemployment rate at 8.3 percent.