New claims for unemployment benefits dropped by 13,000 to 348,000 last week, the fourth drop in five weeks and the lowest number of claims in nearly four years, according to the Labor Department. And at the same time, hiring is up: The economy added a net 243,000 jobs in January, the most in nine months, bringing the average gain over three months to 201,000, dropping the unemployment rate down to 8.3 percent. That’s still pretty high, but it’s progress.

via New Jobless Claims Hit Four-Year Low — Daily Intel.