The number of Americans filing for jobless claims fell to a near seven-year low last week, signaling improved conditions in the job market.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell by 11,000 for the week ending
The four-week moving average, which helps even out any volatility in the numbers, fell by 3,500 to 311,500, with the
Numbers released this week were the third-lowest this year and are encouraging for economists who have been concerned with the sluggish pace of recovery in the labor market.
Claims are traditionally volatile this time of year due to vacation periods and summer shutdowns in the auto manufacturing industry. This could cause an increase in claims in coming weeks.
"Sooner or later...the auto shutdowns will hit the claims data," said
While the unemployment rate hovers around 6.1 percent and has shown steady improvement, the labor market suggests that most people would prefer full-time employment as opposed to the part-time jobs they are currently working.
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