The number of laid-off workers filing claims
for unemployment benefits fell last week for the third consecutive
time, but North Carolina was among the states that bucked the
It's a sign that the labor market may be stabilizing after a
worrisome jump in layoffs earlier in the year.
The Labor Department reports that the number of applications for
jobless benefits totaled 316,000 last week, a decline of 4,000 from the previous week.
The third straight drop in claims pushed them down to the lowest
level in six weeks and provided evidence that the labor market is
not seriously weakening even though the overall economy is slowing.
The biggest increases in claims were in Tennessee, North
Carolina and Wisconsin. For the week ending March 10th, 34 states
and territories reported declines in claims before adjusting for
normal seasonal variations. A total of 19 states and territories
saw claims rise during that week.