Claims for Unemployment Benefits Fall to 254,000 

By DAN MCCUE

(CN) – Weekly claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 4,000 last week — the second straight week claims have declined.

The Labor Department said Thursday that brought seasonally adjusted claims for benefits down to 254,000, the lowest level in three weeks.

Overall, about 2.02 million people are collecting unemployment checks — down 10.1 percent from a year ago — and claims have now been below 300,000 for 93 straight weeks, the longest such streak since 1970.

In November the unemployment rate fell to a nine-year low of 4.6 percent.