The number of Americans newly applying for unemployment
benefits through state programs dropped to the lowest level in nearly 50 years last week. According to the U.S. Department of Labor
, so-called initial jobless claims fell to 202,000 in the week ending March 30, the lowest level since December 1969. In total, the number of people collecting unemployment benefits dropped to 1.72 million on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending March 16 were found in Alaska (3.0), New Jersey (2.6) and Connectitcut (2.5). Meanwhile Texas (-2,027), California (-1,755) and Pennsylvania (-1,390) saw the biggest drops in initial jobless claims in the week ending March 30 compared to the previous week.