Oil prices are climbing after the government said the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest point since April 2008.

Benchmark oil rose 83 cents to $101.42 per barrel Thursday morning in New York. Brent crude rose 83 cents to $111.49 per barrel in London.

The Labor Department says the number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell to 352,000 last week. The news gives investors more confidence that demand for oil and other energy products may grow stronger as more people head back to work.

At the pump, AAA says the national average for gasoline remains at $3.38 a gallon. That's about 17 cents more than a month ago and 27 cents more than a year ago.