Washington, Sep 6: The number of Americans applying for unemployment aid went down last week for the second consecutive week, hanging slightly over the six-year low mark, US labour department said Thursday.
In the week ending Aug 31, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits fell by 9,000 to 323,000 from a revised figure of 332,000 for the previous week. It is just shy of the 322,000 reached three weeks earlier, which was the lowest since January 2008, Xinhua reported.
The four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, declined by 2,250 to 328,500, the fewest since October 2007, and stayed way below the benchmark level of 375,000, which indicates a sustained recovery in employment.
The advance figure of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Aug 24 stood at 2.951 million, down 43,000 from the previous week.
The labour department will release the August employment report Friday.
Many economists expect the unemployment rate to hold at 7.4 percent in August, the same level seen in July and the lowest since December 2008, while the payrolls may climb up by 180,000, slightly fewer than the average monthly gain of 189,000 over the prior 12 months.