WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of newly laid off workers filing applications for unemployment benefits dropped last week for a third consecutive time.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that claims for unemployment benefits totaled 301,000, down 21,000 from the previous week. It was the lowest level for weekly claims since late September.
Analysts had been expecting claims to rise this week. They still believe that the labor market is weakening under the strains of a serious downturn in housing and an overall economic slowdown.