Unemployment benefits drop to 326k

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The number of American’s seeking unemployment benefits last week fell 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000.

The less volatile four-week average dropped 13,500 to 335,000.

More than 4.7 million Americans received benefits at the end of last year, down almost 1.2 million over the course of 2013. Applications seem to have stabilized at near pre-recession levels.

Though overall job growth in December was disappointing, some analysts believe that hiring indicators are strong, and there are signs that recent hiring is helping to boost the economy.

The number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits is expected to drop further soon, because of the expiration of the Federal Extension of long-term benefits.

The senate failed to advance an extension of the benefits earlier this week.

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