WASHINGTON, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) -- The number of U.S. jobless claims dropped last week after hitting its highest level since May, according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Thursday.
In the week ending Dec. 1, the number of people filing for U.S. unemployment benefits declined by 4,000 to 231,000 from previous week's revised figure, said the department. The previous week's reading was revised up by 1,000 to 235,000.
The report also showed that four-week average of initial claims increased by 4,250 to 228,000 last week. The reading of initial jobless claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, signaling a tight labor market in the United States.
With the latest jobless rate continued to sit at a low level, it is estimated that the U.S. labor market was near or at full employment, which would support the U.S. Federal Reserve to further raise its benchmark interest rate.
The department is scheduled to release its November job report on Friday this week.
The Fed raised its benchmark interest rate for the third time this year in September. Fed policy makers has indicated another possible rate hike in December.