WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The number of Americans applying for jobless benefits dropped to the lowest level the economy has seen since October 2007, before the Great Recession.

Overall, the number of people who applied for new jobless benefits dropped by 15,000 to 320,000 for the week ending August 10. Economists had forecast claims of roughly 333,000, which would have roughly matched the previous week.

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According to Marketwatch, the average number of new claims over the last month fell by 4,000 to 332,000. The claims over the last month also were at the lowest levels seen since the months before the Great Recession hit.

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The federal government said continuing unemployment claims, or people already receiving benefits, dropped to 2.97 million for the week that ended August 3.

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Since the federal stimulus started in early 2009, the number of initial unemployment claims has dropped from more than 650,000 a week to this week’s number of roughly 320,000.