Initial jobless claims declined last week to a four-year low, the Labor Department said.
Claims decreased by 6,000 for the week ended Saturday to 357,000, the lowest level since April 2008, Labor said.
Economists had forecast 355,000 new claims, Bloomberg reported.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, dropped to 361,750, from 366,000.
Continuing jobless claims for the previous week ended March 24 decreased by 16,000, to 3.34 million.