Weekly Jobless Claims Drop to 5½ Year Low

weekly jobless claims jobs economy employment hiring unemployment
weekly jobless claims jobs economy employment hiring unemployment

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell unexpectedly last week, touching a 5½ year low, suggesting a steadily improving labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the lowest level since January 2008, the Labor Department said Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.