Economic Report: U.S. jobless claims fall 9,000 to 221,000 as layoffs show no sign of rising

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The number of open jobs in the U.S. remains near a record high, helping to keep unemployment low.

The numbers: The number of laid-off workers who applied for unemployment benefits declined in mid-March to a one-month low, suggesting little deterioration in a robust labor market that’s powered the economy over the past several years.

Initial jobless claims, a rough measure of layoffs, fell by 9,000 to 221,000 in the seven days ended March 16, the government said Thursday. Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 225,000.

The more stable monthly average of claims rose by 1,000 to 225,000.

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