WASHINGTON (February 28, 2013)--The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell 22,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 344,000, evidence that the job market may be picking up, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.
The Labor Department said the four-week average of applications dropped 6,750 to 355,000, the first drop in three weeks.
Weekly applications are a proxy for layoffs.
When they decline, it suggests companies are cutting fewer workers and may be more willing to hire.
The four-week average has steadily declined since November, falling almost 11 percent.
At the same time, employers have added an average of 200,000 jobs per month from November through January, up from about 150,000 in the previous three months.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.