The number of people making new claims for unemployment benefits has dropped for a fourth straight week, another sign of a gradually improving job market, the Labor Department
First-time claims went down 4,000 last week to 444,000, even as the overall unemployment rate remained just below 10 percent. Companies are hiring again, the AP
said, but not at a strong enough pace to bring down the jobless rate.
First-time claims should keep going down in coming weeks, RDQ Economics said in a note to clients, carried by the AP. Once they dip below the 400,000 mark, "prospects for sustainable job creation" will brighten.
Even so, the number of Americans receiving unemployment benefits, 4.62 million, grew by 12,000 in the week ending May 1, the Labor Department said.