America's unemployment rate sank to 7.4 percent in July, the Bureau of Labor Statistics says. A hiring sign is seen in a store window in Alexandria, Va. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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The scene at a career fair in New York City last fall. Mike Segar /Reuters /Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Mike Segar /Reuters /Landov

At a job fair in New York City earlier this year, a man waited for an interview. Economists say the job market is slowly improving, and the latest data on jobless claims seem to support that analysis. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

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A Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at the company's factory in Everett, Wash. Orders for aircraft drove the increase in demand for durable goods last month. Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Saul Loeb /AFP/Getty Images