Jobless Claims Drop to Lowest Level Since Early 2008

Fewer Americans filed new claims for unemployment aid last week than had in four and a half years, new jobs data out Thursday showed. Initial claims for new jobless benefits dropped by 12,000 to the seasonally adjusted figure of 350,000, according to the Labor Department — the lowest level since March 2008. The new data offer still firmer evidence that the wave of layoffs that came with the recession then has largely tapered off, even if hiring has yet to pick back up with much steam. The Labor Department cautioned, however, that some of the data were incomplete and estimated, since the federal government and many state offices considered Monday a holiday.

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