First-time claims for unemployment benefits decreased by 16,000 to 385,000 in the week that ended March 12, the Labor Department announced on Thursday. This is the third decrease in the last four weeks. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number was 386,250, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week, and the lowest level since July 2008. The Labor Department also reported that for the week that ended March 5, the number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits was nearly 3,706,000, a decrease of 80,000 from the preceding week, and the lowest level since September 2008. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for those eligible for benefits was unchanged for the second week in a row at 3%.