The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment aid dropped sharply last week, the Labor Department said Wednesday, the latest sign that businesses are cutting few jobs.
THE NUMBERS: Weekly applications for jobless benefits dropped 12,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 260,000. That is not far from the four-decade low of 255,000 reached in July. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was unchanged at 271,000.
The number of people that are receiving benefits rose 34,000 to 2.2 million.
THE TAKEAWAY: Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so last week's drop is a sign that companies are cutting few jobs.
KEY DRIVERS: Steady job gains over the past...