WASHINGTON, March 5 (Xinhua) -- The number of initial jobless claims in the United States dropped last week, according to a report released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday.
In the week ending Feb. 29, the number of people filing for U.S. unemployment benefits decreased by 3,000 to 216,000, said the bureau.
The report also showed that the four-week moving average of initial claims, a method to iron out data volatility, increased by 3,250 to 213,000 over the same period.
As an important leading indicator to reflect unemployment status in the United States, a lower reading in jobless claims indicates lower overall layoffs. The reading of jobless claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, signaling a tight labor market in the United States.
For the bigger picture of the U.S. labor market, U.S. employers added 225,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate edged up to 3.6 percent, the bureau reported on Feb. 7. It's scheduled to release February's national unemployment rate on Friday.