(CN) – The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 last week, the lowest level in nearly two months, the Labor Department said Thursday.
The government said initial unemployment claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 225,000 in the week that ended Dec. 9, the second-lowest showing since 1973.
The less volatile four-week average for claims also fell by 6,750 to 234,750.
Overall, 1.89 million Americans are collecting unemployment checks, down more than 7 percent from a year earlier and close to a four-decade low reached in November.
The Labor Department released a report last Friday showing stronger than expected job growth in the month of November.
The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 228,000 jobs in November after surging up by a revised 244,000 jobs in October.
The unemployment rate has fallen to a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. Employers, who added 228,000 jobs last month, are holding onto workers and often struggling to find new ones.
The economy grew by 3.3 percent annual pace from July through September, fastest in three years.