Fewer Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, the government announced this morning. But at the same time thousands and thousands of unemployed people have exhausted their extended jobless benefits in recent months.
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Here is what The Associated Press reported about today's announcement.
Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, a sign that layoffs are dropping and companies may be stepping up hiring.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the number of people seeking benefits dipped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 for the week that ended March 26. That's the second decline in three weeks.
Applications near 375,000 or below are consistent with a sustained increase in hiring. Applications peaked during the recession at 659,000.
The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose to 394,250. Still, that figure has dropped by 35,500, or 8 percent, in the past eight weeks. Click here to read an expanded story.
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