Bonnie Petrie

Jobless Claims Drop to 364,000 Ahead of Christmas Holiday

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Spencer Platt/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) — Claims for unemployment benefits fell again last week, marking the third straight drop in December and further giving investors a boost as Wall Street prepares to take its break for the Christmas holiday.

For the week ending Dec. 17, the Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people filing for benefits dropped by 4,000 to 364,000.  The previous week, claims stood at 368,000.

The four-week average also decreased, falling by 8,000 to end at 380,250.

Experts have tempered the numbers with the caveat that the drop could reflect temporary workers hired for the holidays, or people who’d giving up looking for work until the holidays are over.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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