WASHINGTON (August 14, 2014)
More people applied for U.S. unemployment benefits last week, but jobless claims continue to be close to pre-recession levels, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday.
Weekly applications for unemployment aid climbed 21,000 to a seasonally adjusted 311,000 and the prior week's was revised up slightly to 290,000, the department said.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 2,000 to 295,750, which continues to be close to averages that predate the beginning of the Great Recession in late 2007.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs.
When fewer employers shed workers, it suggests potentially rising incomes, increased hiring activity and confidence that the economy is improving.
Employers are searching for more workers.
In June, they advertised the most monthly job openings in more than 13 years, the government reported Tuesday.