US applications for unemployment aid drop to 339K

April 26, 2013 • Business

In this Thursday, April 11, 2013, photo, Kathie Maiello of Any-Time Home Care, left, talks with Jashod Chaney of Albany at the Dr. King Career Fair at the Empire State Plaza Convention Center, in Albany, N.Y. The Labor Department reports on the number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week on Thursday, April 25, 2013. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell last week to a seasonally adjusted 339,000, the second-fewest in more than five years. The drop suggests that layoffs have declined and that job growth may pick up from last month’s sluggish pace.

Applications for benefits dropped 16,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average declined 4,500 to 357,500.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they decline, it signals that companies are cutting fewer jobs.

Still, layoffs are only half the equation: Businesses also need to be confident enough in the Login to read more

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