(CN) – Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits the week before Christmas, a sign that the U.S. job market continues to be strong.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that the number of seasonally-adjusted initial claims the week ending December 24 was 265,000, a decrease of 10,000 from the week before.
This marks 95 consecutive weeks of initial claims below 300,000, the longest streak since 1970.
The four-week moving average was 263,000, a decrease of 750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 263,750.
As 2016 comes to a close, the government reports that U.S. employers have added 2.25 million jobs over the past 12 months. During the same period, the number of people collecting benefits has fallen almost 5 percent, to 2.1 million.
In November, the unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent.