Jobless Aid Falls to Nearly 15-Year Low

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week, evidence that layoffs remain at unusually low levels and the job market is moving closer to full health. The Labor Department says weekly applications for jobless aid dropped 12,000, near 15-year lows reached two months ago. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined to more than 276,000. The figures suggest that Americans are enjoying solid job security. Applications, a proxy for layoffs, have remained below 300,000, a historically low level, for 15 weeks. Employers are confident enough in future consumer demand to retain their staffs. They've also hired at healthy levels in recent months. The number of people receiving benefits fell to 2.22 million. That figure has fallen 14 percent in the past year.


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