Jobless claims drop in past month

Washington, D.C. -- Fewer Americans filed claims for unemployment insurance payments over the past month, indicating some positive movement in the job market.

According to the latest labor department figures, the number of applications for jobless benefits averaged 431,000 a week over the month ended Nov. 27, the lowest level since August 2008. Claims increased by 26,000 last week, more than forecast, to 436,000, after reaching a two-year low.

“Lower lows and lower highs define a downward trend, and that’s what seems finally to be emerging,” according to Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics LLC in Valhalla, N.Y. “If it continues, we should expect to see better payroll numbers over the next few months.”

After slowing the pace of firings in November, companies may be on the cusp of ramping up the hiring necessary to further boost consumer spending, according to a Bloomberg report.

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