Thursday, May 3, 2012
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week by the most in more than three months. The figure was a hopeful sign one day before the government releases the April jobs report.
The Labor Department says weekly unemployment aid applications fell 27,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 365,000.
Applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they fall below 375,000, it generally suggests that hiring will be strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 383,500, the highest level since December.
Applications jumped last month after steadily declining since the fall. At the same time, hiring slowed in March. Those figures had sparked concerns that the job market was worsening after strong gains during the winter.