Bloomberg (01/19/12) Bob Willis; Shobhana Chandra
The number of Americans who filed requests for jobless benefits sank by 52,000 last week to 352,000, the lowest level since April 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor Department reported Thursday. The median forecast of 41 economists in a Bloomberg News survey projected 384,000. The decline eases concern that post-holiday firings are on the rise. Companies are slowing the pace of firings and beginning to step up the pace of hiring even as a slump in Europe may limit U.S. growth. The improvement may be a sign that companies are looking to expand their work forces as sales increase.