April 13 (UPI) -- A U.S. Department of Labor report released Thursday showed fewer people than anticipated filed initial claims for unemployment benefits last week.
Unemployment claims in the week ending April 8 fell from 235,000 to 234,000 after the previous week's figure was adjusted upward. An estimate of 245,000 for initial claims was predicted. The four-week average was 247,250, a decrease of 3,000 from the previous week's revised four-week average.
The unemployment rate for those insured, or eligible for benefits, was 1.5 percent, an indication of a tightening labor market and a willingness of employees to keep experienced workers on the job. The states with the highest rates of insured unemployment were Alaska, at 3.7 percent; New Jersey, at 2.9 percent and Connecticut, at 2.8 percent.