WASHINGTON – Seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims fell to 348,000 for the week ending Feb. 11, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level of 361,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Continuing claims were down to 3.426 million for the week ending Feb. 4, a decrease of 100,000 from the previous week's revised level of 3.526 million.

The 348,000 of initial claims were lower than the median 365,000 projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and that was the smallest number since March 8, 2008, when it was 347,000. The 3.426 million of continuing claims were below the median economist estimate of 3.500 million, and were the fewest since August 23, 2008, when they numbered 3.395 million.

The four-week moving average for initial claims was 365,250, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week's revised average of 367,000 and the lowest figure since April 26, 2008, when it was 361,500.

The four-week moving average for continuing claims was 3.493 million, which was down 8,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 3.501 million and the lowest since Sept. 13, 2008, when it was 3.452 million.

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