Imagine what the economy would be like without Republican obstructionism,
WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits fell by 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, a five-year low. Layoffs have returned to pre-recession levels, a trend that could lead to more hiring.
The Labor Department said Thursday that the less volatile four-week average dropped 6,250 to 336,750. That the fewest since November 2007, one month before the Great Recession began.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Weekly applications have fallen about 9 percent since November and are now at a level consistent with a healthy economy. The last time weekly applications were lower was in January 2008, when they were 321,000.
Economists were largely encouraged by the decline.