About 382,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, the Employment and Training Administration just reported. That's 10,000 fewer than during the previous week and marks the third dip in the past four weeks.
The Associated Press says the news is "a sign that layoffs are dropping and employers may be hiring more workers."
"Fewer firings along with further increases in headcount may help ensure that gains in consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, are sustained. Unemployment that has declined four straight months supports the view of Federal Reserve policy makers that the job market is showing signs of 'gradual improvement.' "