The number of Americans who applied for first-time unemployment benefits dropped again recently to the lowest level in almost four years, providing additional evidence that the national economic recovery is picking up steam. In the week ending February 11, the adjusted initial unemployment claims was 348,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 361,000. The 4-week moving average was 365,250, a decrease of 1,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 367,000.
The latest numbers being reported are at the lowest level since March 2008, when the U.S. was in the early stages of the last recession and the trend strongly indicates that fewer people are losing their jobs and more are finding work.
The latest national unemployment rate for January 2012 was reported at 8.3% on February 3, 2012. The highest national unemployment rate reported during the past recession was 10.0% for October 2009. The U.S. unemployment rate remained at a level well above 9.0% throughout 2010 before it began a slow decline during 2011. 02.21.2012