The Labor Department reported Thursday that initial jobless claims dropped to 381,000, which is the lowest reading since February. The report follows last week's better-than-expected unemployment report. The Associated Press also noted that the four-week average "fell for the ninth time in 11 weeks to 393,250," the lowest average since early April, pointing to a steady decline in the unemployment rate -- albeit one that could be steeper. Employers added a net total of 120,000 jobs last month, but plenty of people dropped out of their job searches altogether, which tempers the good unemployment news a bit.
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