US Job Market Improves

Posted December 22nd, 2011 at 10:45 am (UTC-5)
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The U.S. job market improved slightly last week as the number of people signing up for unemployment compensation fell to the lowest level in more than three years.

Thursday's report from the Labor Department says initial jobless claims fell 4,000 to a nationwide total of 364,000.

An improved job market will probably boost consumer confidence and bolster the consumer demand that drives 70 percent of the U.S. economy.

A separate report shows that the U.S. economy grew a bit more slowly than first thought in July, August, and September. Government experts say the U.S. gross domestic product expanded at a 1.8 percent annual rate in the third quarter.

Economists surveyed by news agencies say the economy probably grew more quickly in the last three months of 2011.