The number of people seeking US unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level in four years, adding to evidence that the job market is strengthening. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 359,000, the lowest level since April 2008, the Labour Department said on Thursday. The prior week's figure was revised up to 364,000 from the previously reported 348,000. The report included revisions for claims data from 2007 based on updated seasonal adjustment calculations. New seasonal adjustment factors were also introduced for 2012.
Companies are retaining workers and hiring as sales pick up along with confidence in the expansion. The pace of employment has gained momentum in the past three months, helping drive income growth that may ease the strain of higher gasoline prices.
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