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US jobless numbers drop to five-year low

Jobless numbers are at their lowest levels since January 2008, thanks in part to seasonal employment opportunities.

US jobless numbers 2012 04-05Enlarge
Job applicants meet potential employers at a job fair in Denver. (John Moore/AFP/Getty Images)

Jobless numbers in the United States hit a five-year low this week, in part due to seasonal employment. 

The Labor Department reported Thursday that unemployment insurance payments decreased to 330,000 in last week, the lowest number since the same week in 2008, according to Bloomberg Businessweek

The four-week claims average, often thought to be more reliable than week-to-week data, also fell by 8,250 to 351,750, the lowest since March 2008, the Wall Street Journal reported

"Most of us after last week had been expecting some sort of an increase from the 335,000 in the prior week," said Hugh Johnson, Chief Investment Officer at Hugh Johnson Advisors, Reuters reported. "But this was a big surprise, we saw an ongoing decline in claims - a big surprise and a very good surprise." 

"You don't know for sure because the statistical correlation is not precise, but they imply we may have a good employment number for the month of January," Johnson added. 

Job creation has also continued on pace in the US, according to the Labor Department:  155,000 workers added to payrolls last month, right on target with last year's 153,000 added jobs in the same period, Bloomberg reported. 

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/united-states/130124/jobless-numbers-drop-five-year-low