Fewer People Sought Unemployment Aid Last Week

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

unemployment applications downBy Christopher S. Rugaber


WASHINGTON -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell further in the final week of 2011, a positive sign for hiring one day ahead of Friday's December employment report.

The Labor Department says weekly applications dropped 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000 last week. It was the fourth drop in five weeks. The four-week average, which smooths fluctuations, declined to 373,250, the lowest level since June 2008.

When applications drop below 375,000 - consistently - they generally signal that hiring is strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate.

Applications have declined steadily over the past three months. The four-week average fell 11 percent in 2011, evidence that companies are laying off fewer workers. But many employers have been slow to add jobs.



Next:Teacher Sues Chicago Schools, Saying He Was Fired Over His Memoir



Don't Miss: Companies Hiring Now



Stories from CNN Money

Read Full Story

From Our Partners