WASHINGTON (AP) -- Fewer people sought U.S. unemployment benefits last week, as jobless claims remain at relatively low levels that point toward stronger economic growth.<br />
Weekly applications for unemployment aid fell 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 289,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The prior week's was revised up slightly to 303,000.<br />
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell 4,000 to 293,500. That's the lowest average since February 2006, almost two years before the Great Recession began at the end of 2007.
A blustery winter storm dumped snow and ice across the West on Wednesday, making driving treacherous in the mountains from California to the Rockies and forcing residents and party-goers in some usually sun-soaked cities to bundle up for a frosty New Year's.
For the third year in a row, a group of state officials, including the President of the University of Georgia, toured several agricultural interests in the state. Wednesday's Georgia Department of Agriculture and UGA Farm Tour focused on Northeast Georgia.