U.S. jobless benefits applications down
The number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell last week by the largest number in more than three months. The figure was a hopeful sign one day before the government releases the April jobs report. The Labour Department said Thursday weekly unemployment aid applications fell by 27,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 365,000. Applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they fall below 375,000, it generally suggests hiring will be strong enough to lower the unemployment rate. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 383,500 last week, the highest level since December. Last month, applications jumped after steadily declining since the fall, and hiring slowed. Those figures sparked concerns that the job market was worsening.