US Job Market Improves

Posted December 8th, 2011 at 10:20 am (UTC-5)
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The number of people signing up for unemployment compensation dropped to the lowest level in nine months last week, which may be evidence that the troubled U.S. job market is getting better.

Thursday’s report from the Labor Department says first-time jobless claims fell by 23,000 to a nationwide total of 381,000.

The U.S. jobless rate fell four-tenths of a percent in November to 8.6 percent, which is still higher than usual in the United States.

Some economists say worries about jobs are a key reason that consumer spending has been weak. That has hurt the recovery because consumer demand drives most U.S. economic activity.

The U.S. economy grew at a 2 percent annual pace in July, August, and September. Experts say the pace may rise in the last three months of the year, unless Europe’s debt crisis gets worse and hurts consumer and investor confidence.