Jobless Claims Drop, Reach 4-Year Low Meanwhile, consumer confidence is rising By John Johnson, Newser Staff Posted Mar 15, 2012 11:37 AM CDT 23 comments Comments Dozens of job seekers line up to enter a National Career Fair in New York last month. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) (Newser) – A bit more good news on the unemployment front: The number of people filing new claims for jobless benefits dropped by 14,000 last week, about triple the figure analysts expected, reports the Wall Street Journal. The total of 351,000 matches a four-year low, notes Bloomberg. The trend seems to go hand in hand with rising consumer confidence, which is at its highest point since 2008. “There’s a steady, sustained improvement in the labor market,” says one economist. “As more people have jobs, confidence is picking up. This is consistent with pretty solid gains in consumer spending."