US unemployment applications drop to 319K - – Rockford’s News Leader

US unemployment applications drop to 319K

WASHINGTON DC (WREX) - The number of United States residents seeking unemployment benefits dropped 26,000 last week to 319,000, the latest indication the national job market is slowly getting better.

The decrease comes after two weeks of increases, which reflected mostly temporary layoffs around Easter. Easter can cause a raise in layoffs for bus drivers, cafeteria workers, and other school employees during spring break. The earlier increases caused the four-week average of unemployment applications, which is a less volatile number, to rise 4,500 to 324,750.

As the impact of Easter fades, applications are going back to pre-recession levels. The average for the month of April was 312,000, the fewest since October 2007. The recession officially began two months later in December 2007.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, so the decline suggests companies are getting rid of fewer jobs.
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