The number of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment benefits fell last week, while productivity numbers are better than originally calculated for the fourth quarter.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 469,000, according to the Labor Department.
Recently, figures on initial claims have been distorted due to bad weather, making it difficult to gauge an overall trend, but officials from the Labor Department say the latest data is unaffected.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of new claims, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,500 to 470,750.
Finally, productivity expanded for the seventh straight quarter as a result of workforce cuts by employers.