WASHINGTON (CN) – The number of people filing new unemployment claims dipped to the lowest level in more than two years last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
During the week ending Dec. 25, 388,000 people filed for initial unemployment benefits, a decrease of 34,000 from the week before.
The results of the Labor Department’s seasonally adjusted data represent the first time the number of initial claims has dropped below 400,000 since July 2008.
The average of new claims over four weeks declined by 12,500 to 414,000, also the lowest point since July 2008.
The numbers indicate that the job market is improving, which may affect the December jobs report, scheduled to be released on Jan. 7.
In November, the nationwide unemployment rate was at 9.8 percent, the highest in seven months.