Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level Since Early 2006

Jobseekers Attend The Union Square Hospitality Group Career Fair
Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images

By Lucia Mutikani

WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in nearly 8½ years last week, suggesting the labor market recovery was gaining traction.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits declined 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 for the week ended July 19, the Labor Department said Thursday.