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Weekly Jobless Claims Fall to 324,000, Lowest Level Since Jan. 2008

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Weekly unemployment claims fell last week by 18,000 to 324,000 claims, bringing the four-week average to the lowest level since January 2008, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday.

The drop, said Deutsche Bank senior economist Carl Riccadonna, is a combination of fewer layoffs and more hiring.

“The labor market is extremely lean at this point in time,” Riccadonna said. “The economy has grown significantly since the end of the recession in mid-2009. The labor market has not kept pace.”

The drop indicates a slightly more positive outlook for the labor market in next few months, according to Riccadonna.

And as long as claims hold at those post-recession lows, “that tells us that the economy is chugging forward,” Riccadonna said, “even though not quite as fast as we'd like to see.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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