The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to the lowest level in more than eight years last week.
The Labor Department said Thursday that initial claims for state unemployment benefits were down by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 284,000 for the week. That’s the lowest since February 2006.
An average of the last four weeks confirms the trend is headed in the right direction.
Employment has grown by more than 200,000 jobs in each of the last five months, which is the longest streak since the late 1990s.
Continuing claims fell 68,000 between the June and July survey periods, which means the unemployment rate could drop even lower than its current six-year low of 6.1 percent.