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More Americans seeking jobless benefits, but weekly claims are still at pre-recession levels

WASHINGTON - The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 16,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 326,000. Despite the increase, the number remains close to pre-recession levels and points to stable hiring. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, inched up 250 to 319,500. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. They have fallen back to roughly pre-recession levels, an indication that companies are letting go of fewer workers and expect solid economic growth in the months ahead.

Spanish jobless numbers on positive track in March

Madrid, Apr 2 (EFE).- The number of registered unemployed people in Spain dropped by 16,620 in March, compared to February, to 4.79 million, marking the biggest drop in the third month of a year since 2006, the Employment and Social Security Ministry said Wednesday. The number of jobless people fell by 17,000 in March on a seasonally unadjusted basis, compared to the previous month, the ministry said. The number of registered unemployed people fell by 239,377 last month, compared to March 2013.

Private jobs data signal 3 percent U.S. GDP growth: Moody's Zandi

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Solid company hiring in March signaled the U.S. economy is back on track to expand at a 3 percent clip in 2014 after a slow start hampered by harsh winter weather, Moody's Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi said on Wednesday. Private employers added 191,000 workers last month, slightly below economists' expectations, but gains for February were revised higher by almost 40,000, the ADP National Employment Report released earlier showed. The report is jointly developed with Moody's Analytics.

Irish official unemployment falls further

The number of people claiming unemployment benefits in eurozone-nation Ireland fell for the 21st month running in March, and to the lowest rate since early 2009, official data showed on Wednesday. The standardised unemployment rate was 11.8 percent in March down from 11.9 percent in February, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) said in a statement. At 11.8 percent, March's rate is the lowest since April 2009, when Irish unemployment came in at 11.5 percent.

German unemployment falls for fourth straight month in March

By Michelle Martin BERLIN (Reuters) - German unemployment fell for a fourth consecutive month in March, data showed on Tuesday, highlighting the strength of the job market in Europe's largest economy and boding well for expectations that domestic demand will drive growth this year. The number of people out of work decreased by 12,000 to 2.901 million, data from the Labor Office showed. The mid-range forecast in a Reuters poll had been for a drop of 10,000.

German unemployment falls for fourth straight month in March

By Michelle Martin BERLIN (Reuters) - German unemployment fell for a fourth consecutive month in March, data showed on Tuesday, highlighting the strength of the job market in Europe's largest economy and boding well for expectations that domestic demand will drive growth this year. The number of people out of work decreased by 12,000 to 2.901 million, data from the Labour Office showed. The mid-range forecast in a Reuters poll had been for a drop of 10,000.

Italy PM Renzi says aims to get jobless rate under 10 percent

LONDON (Reuters) - Italy can get its unemployment below 10 percent in the medium term with signs of improvement beginning to show through in the economy, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said on Tuesday, after the jobless rate hit its highest level since at least 1977. "We want to get under 10 percent in the coming months, the coming years," he told a joint news conference in London with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

German unemployment continues to ease in March

Unemployment in Germany, Europe's largest economy, continued to ease in March, as the labour market benefits from the improving economic outlook, official data showed on Tuesday. The number of people registered as unemployed in Europe's top economy fell by 12,000 to 2.901 million, after adjustment for seasonal blips, the Federal Labour Office said in a statement. Analysts had been projecting a smaller decline of about 7,500.

German unemployment steady in March: official data

Germany's unemployment rate was steady in March, as Europe's economy gets off to a good start in 2014, official data showed on Tuesday. The number of people registered as unemployed in fell by 12,000 in seasonally adjusted terms this month, the Federal Labour Office said in a statement. Analysts had been projecting a slightly smaller decline of around 7,500.

Connecticut becomes first state to pass $10.10 minimum wage

By Richard Weizel MILFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy on Thursday signed into law a measure that will phase in the highest minimum wage of any U.S. state, in line with a push by Democrats nationwide to raise the entry-level wage. The bill, which was approved by state legislators a day earlier, will raise the state's minimum hourly rate to $10.10, a figure that matches what U.S. President Barack Obama has asked Congress to consider imposing nationally.
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