The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to a seasonally adjusted 346,000, suggesting March's weak month of hiring may have been a temporary slowdown. Unemployment aid applications dropped by 42,000 last week, the Labor Department said Thursday. The steep decline reversed sharp gains over the previous two weeks and brought the level back to a point that signals stronger job growth. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 3,000 to 358,000.
Level 3 has new CEO
Level 3 Communications, an operator of a global fiber-optic network, has promoted Chief Operating Officer Jeff Storey to the top job, filling a role vacated by longtime Chief Executive Officer Jim Crowe. Storey will take the CEO position immediately, the Broomfield, Colo.-based company said in a statement. Crowe announced his intention last month to step down by the end of the year. Storey also was nominated to take Crowe's board seat. “Jeff was the clear and unanimous choice of the board,” Chairman Walter Scott said in the statement. Level 3 has operations in Lincoln and Omaha.