The number of people applying for unemployment insurance last week stayed the same as the week before, which is not a bad place to be since it marks a four-year low. Just like the previous week, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that 351,000 people sought unemployment benefits, while the four-week moving average, seen as a more stable number, dropped by 7,000 to 366,000. As the Associated Press always likes to point out in these reports, "when applications drop consistently below 375,000, it usually signals that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate." Let's hope that's right.
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