Fewer Americans apply for jobless benefits last week

By MATT OTT AP Business Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week reflecting a low level of layoffs across the economy. Jobless claimes fell by 18,000 to 215,000 for the week ending February 26, from 233,000 the previous week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The four-week average for claims, which compensates for weekly volatility, fell by 6,000 to 230,500. In total, 1,476,000 Americans were collecting jobless aid the week that ended Feb. 12, a small uptick of 2,000 from the previous week's revised number. First-time applications for jobless aid generally track the pace of layoffs, which are back down to fairly healthy pre-pandemic levels.

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