Initial jobless claims last week fell to a four-year low, the Labor Department said.
Claims declined 5,000 for the week ended Saturday to 359,000, Labor said.
Economists had forecast 350,000 new claims, Bloomberg reported.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, fell to 365,000, from 368,500.
Continuing jobless claims for the previous week ended March 17 fell by 41,000, to 3.34 million.