Jobless Claims Drop Unexpectedly to 545K

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The number of newly out of work Americans filing for jobless benefits has dropped to its lowest level since July.

Claims for unemployment benefits fell to 545,000 in the week of Sept. 12 from a revised 557,000 the week prior.

It's just one more sign that the job market is deteriorating at a slower pace as the recession comes to a close, Bloomberg News reports.

"Clearly, firms have pulled back on the firings," Tom Porcelli, a senior economist at RBC Capital Markets in New York, said prior to the report.

Just the same, "it's going to be difficult to generate meaningful growth in consumer spending without gains in hiring," he said.

The report comes one day after the Federal Reserve reported an increase in production from U.S. factories, mines and utilities for the second consecutive month in August.

Still, it may be too early to celebrate as the nation's economy isn't improving quickly enough spark an increase in hiring.

On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke noted that while the recession is probably over, it's unlikely the economy will grow fast enough to decrease unemployment anytime in the near future.

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