The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in two months, suggesting employers remain confident enough in the economy to hold onto their workers.
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The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid dropped 11,000 to a seasonally adjusted 264,000. That's the lowest level since July, when applications plunged to a 41-year low.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the decline indicates that employers are cutting fewer jobs. Americans are enjoying strong job security: Applications have been below 300,000 for the past six months, which hasn't happened since 1973.
Employers have also been hiring at a solid pace, adding an average of 243,000 a month in the past 12 months. That has brought the unemployment rate down to 5.1 percent.