Unemployment claims in the US at four year low

THE NUMBER of Americans claiming new unemployment benefits dropped to a four-year low last week, offering further evidence that the jobs market recovery was gaining traction.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the lowest level since February 2008.

And a separate report showed a gauge of future US economic activity rose solidly in February, pointing to strengthening growth even as China slows. Firming labour market conditions helped to lift the government Conference Board’s leading economic index 0.7 per cent last month.

While the data remains relatively upbeat, analysts worry slowing global growth could hamper the US economy and dampen job creation.