US hiring outlook improves as jobless claims drop
WASHINGTON — Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, and a private survey showed businesses stepped up hiring in August. The data sketched a brighter outlook for the job market one day before the government reports on August employment.
Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 371,250.
Unemployment benefit applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they consistently fall below 375,000, it suggests that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.
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