Total jobless claims dropped sharply for the second consecutive week to its lowest in nearly two years, the Labor Deparment reported recently.

Initial state unemployment insurance benefits fell by 17,000 to 364,000 in the week ended Nov. 23, down from a revised 381,000 recorded for the previous week and at its lowest since 355,000 in the Feb. 17, 2001 week.

The numbers reached 385,750 in the Nov. 23 week, down from 397,000 the prior week --at its lowest since 382,500 in the Aug. 10, 2002 week.