In a statement released on Thursday, the US Labor Department has announced that the number of people claiming unemployment benefits has dipped by more than 36,000 during the first week of March, being now situated at 289.000.

The average of people that request unemployment help during a four-week estimate has also fallen by almost 4.000, being situated at 302.000 – a 9 percent drop in comparison to the same period of 2014. This comes after the last week of February saw the highest rate of jobless claims in the last 10 months, at about 325,000 U.S. citizens filling in for benefit.

The number of continuing claims, which represent the people who are already receiving unemployment benefits, is estimated at about 2.4 million as of February 28.

This represents a normal rate in the context of a steadily improving labor market, which oversaw the creation of over 295.000 jobs in the country during February. Analysts believe that the high rate of unemployment benefit claims could be mostly attributed to temporary lay-offs by some employer due to the unpredictable weather circumstances occurring over the last month,

The unemployment rate across the country has also dropped to only 5.5 percent signaling a strong labor market and boosting the chances of economic growth. Unemployment in the United States is almost at half of the historic levels reached in 2009 and 2010, which saw on average almost 1 of every 10 American citizens without jobs.

This rise in employment and general economic stability of the country is what prompted U.S. Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen to warn that the central bank will raise interest rates for federal funds, after they stumped near 0 for years to stimulate economic growth in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

According to Department of Labor rates seasonally adjusted for December 2014, North Dakota has currently the lowest unemployment rate in the country, with only 2.8 percent, while at the other end 7.3 percent of those living within the country’s capital in the District of Columbia are jobless.

Image Source: BBC