The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 330,000, signaling fewer layoffs and steady job growth.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average dropped 9,750 to 349,000.
A Labor spokesman said there was no indication that snow and freezing weather around much of the country caused the drop in applications. The number of applications could fluctuate in the coming weeks because of harsh winter weather that closed some offices this week and last, said Yelena Shulyatyeva, a U.S. economist at the bank BNP Paribas.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. They appear to have stabilized near pre-recession levels after a period of volatility around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. That suggests recent job gains will continue. Continue reading "U.S. unemployment benefit applications fall to 330,000"