US jobless claims fall to lowest since February 2008
WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell sharply last week to the lowest level in more than four and a half years, according to government data on Thursday that suggested improvement in the labour market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 30,000 to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the Labour Department said. It was the lowest number of new claims since February 2008. The prior week's figure was revised up to show 2,000 more applications than previously reported.
The four-week moving average for new claims, a better measure of labour market trends, fell 11,500 to 364,000.
A Labour Department analyst said no states had been estimated for the latest report.