The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits rose slightly last week but was still near its lowest level since before the 2007-09 recession, a hopeful sign for the U.S. economy.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose by 5,000 last week to 333,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The four-week average of new claims, which often gives a clearer read of the labor market’s underlying health, fell to its lowest since November 2007, just before the United States fell into a calamitous recession.
Now it appears that a long cycle of aggressive layoffs – which had fueled a surge in unemployment and helped shape two presidential elections – is over.
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