Applications for unemployment aid barely change

RICHMOND,VA (WWBT) - New numbers out today show fewer people are applying for unemployment benefits, but it's not necessarily good news for the economy. It's a small drop.

The Labor Department says the number of applications for unemployment benefits fell by 1,000. With that number, the department says 404,000 people applied for benefits.

The minor dip suggests the nation's job market isn't improving, but there is a silver lining here. The four week average also fell for the third straight week. It's now at its lowest in eight weeks.

Analysts say applications are still higher than they would be in a healthy economy. The number would need to fall below 375,000 for several weeks to show any job growth. We haven't seen that happen since February.

This new report suggests that layoffs have slowed in recent weeks. Applications are used as a scale to monitor layoffs.  But, there are other numbers that show hiring hasn't picked up.

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