The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits for the first time dropped this week to the lowest level in two months, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Initial claims for state unemployment for the week ending on Sept. 22 dropped 26,000 to a seasonally adjusted 359,000—the lowest level since July. Economists were cheered by the news, after months of weakness in the labor market amid worries of another recession. Last month, the U.S. said it would buy back $40 billion of mortgage-backed securities each month until there is a turnaround in the job market. The unemployment rate has hovered around 8 percent for three years, the first time that has happened since the Great Depression.
BACK TO WORK J Pat Carter / AP Photo