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More than 3,600 people lined up to apply for about 1,000 openings at a job fair earlier this month in New Orleans.
Ted Jackson /The Times-Picayune/Landov
April 24, 2014 The 329,000 applications filed last week for unemployment insurance were more than economists expected. One theory: Easter's relatively late date may have skewed the numbers.
April 17, 2014 The 304,000 applications filed last week means they were close to the lowest level since May 2007. Analysts say the news is another sign that the economy continues to grow.
April 10, 2014 There were 300,000 applications filed last week. That's the fewest since May 2007. Economists say the data are another sign that the labor market is gaining some strength.
The scene at a job fair last fall in Van Nuys, Calif.
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images
April 3, 2014 The uptick to 326,000 applications still kept claims near the lower end of a range they've been in for the past year or so. On Friday, the government will report on the March unemployment rate.
March 27, 2014 The news about both last quarter and last week is positive. Fewer people signed up for unemployment insurance last week, and consumer spending was stronger than previously thought in late 2013.
March 20, 2014 Analysts say the latest data are a sign that job growth might be better than expected this month. Claims are running at roughly the same pace they set before the last recession.
March 13, 2014 There were 315,000 new applications for unemployment insurance filed last week, down 9,000 from the week before. It's the latest sign that the labor market is gaining some strength.
March 6, 2014 On the eve of data about job growth and unemployment in February, the latest numbers are relatively good. Economists expect to hear Friday that the nation's jobless rate stayed at 6.6 percent.
February 27, 2014 Thursday's economic news isn't great. More people applied for unemployment benefits and demand for some factory goods was down.
As the weather warms, will more signs such as this pop up? Economists say the latest data on claims for unemployment benefits may signal that better times are ahead.
February 20, 2014 Although the number of applications declined by just 3,000 last week, it appears employers have not been chopping more jobs in recent weeks. Economists say that bodes well for coming months.
February 13, 2014 The 339,000 claims for benefits filed last week marked an increase of 8,000 from the week before. Economists are hoping that once winter ends, hiring will pick up.
The scene at a Hiring Our Heroes job fair for veterans last month in Washington, D.C.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
February 6, 2014 Fewer Americans applied for unemployment insurance last week. But Friday's much-anticipated report on payroll growth and unemployment in January may not offer particularly good news, economists say.
January 23, 2014 There's more evidence that the housing sector has come out of its deep slump. The day's other key economic indicator: The number of people who applied for unemployment insurance barely changed last week. The pace remained near where it was before the economy slipped into its 2007-2009 recession.
The scene at a job fair in Marietta, Ga., last November.
January 16, 2014 The good news is that it appears layoffs are not piling up too rapidly. The bad news is that new jobs aren't either.
Looking for work in Florida. At a November career fair in West Palm Beach, this man had a job application in hand.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
January 9, 2014 It's the last bit of employment news before Friday's report about job growth and the jobless rate in December. Economists expect to hear that the unemployment rate stayed at 7 percent and that 195,000 jobs were added to payrolls.
January 2, 2014 But the fact that 339,000 applications were filed — the fewest in a month — is a hopeful sign. Meanwhile, the most-anticipated news about the labor market each month, on the unemployment rate and job growth, won't be released until Jan. 10.
A "help wanted" sign earlier this year in the window of a clothing store in Pasadena, Calif.
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images
December 26, 2013 Economists caution against reading too much into the latest economic data. During the holidays, offices that collect the information aren't always open and that can delay some of their work.
A "sale pending" sign in front of a home in San Anselmo, Calif., earlier this year.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
December 19, 2013 The housing market is cooling because of higher mortgage rates and limited supply, economists say. Meanwhile, seasonal factors related to the holidays may have temporarily pushed up claims for jobless benefits.
December 12, 2013 Officials say it's difficult to account for shifts caused by factors related to the holidays and separate them from the trends more closely linked to the economy's underlying strengths and weaknesses.
December 5, 2013 U.S. real gross domestic product rose from a 2.5 percent gain in the second quarter. And the number of people filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell to 298,000 last week.
While a key measure of factory orders weakened in October, there's better news about the labor market: fewer Americans are filing claims for unemployment insurance.
November 27, 2013 Fewer Americans filed for unemployment insurance last week. But fewer orders were placed for equipment and other so-called durable goods in October.
Part of the scene at a job fair for veterans and family members earlier this month in Marietta, Ga.
November 21, 2013 Fresh data signal that the labor market is at least holding steady and that inflation remains in check. In other major economic news Thursday, Janet Yellen's nomination to head the Federal Reserve is expected to be OK'd by the Senate Banking Committee.
Looking for work: The scene at a job fair in Emeryville, Calif., last month.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
November 7, 2013 Economists thought the government would say the economy slowed. But the initial estimate shows a slight pickup from the 2.5 percent pace of the second quarter.
October 31, 2013 Though claims dropped by 10,000, they're still running at a pace that signals a sluggish labor market.
October 24, 2013 There were 350,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed, down 12,000 from the week before. But the report seems to be in line with others that indicate job growth remains relatively weak.
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