The number of Americans who are seeking unemployment benefits dropped slightly last week to the lowest point in four years, another indication that the U.S. job market is improving, The Associated Press reported.
According to the news outlet, a seasonally adjusted 351,000 people sought unemployment aid, a drop from the 353,000 that filed for the government help the previous week, Labor Department figures showed on March 1. This figure represents a four-year low level.
Bloomberg reported that economists had forecast that the number would actually rise to 355,000.
According to the news outlet, firing is also on a downward trend as employers have gained confidence in the outlook for economic growth and a smaller number of job reductions also allows for these companies to hire additional employees as demand picks up.
“Firing is not holding back the labor market,” Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, told Bloomberg. “Businesses recognize that they don’t need to lay off any more people. Down the road, they’re going to realize they need to hire more people.”