Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level in Nearly 5½ Years

weekly jobless claims unemployment benefits job fair
weekly jobless claims unemployment benefits job fair

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level in nearly 5½ years last week, signaling labor market resilience in the face of fiscal austerity.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the lowest level since January 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday.