Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, and a private survey showed businesses stepped up hiring in August. The data sketched a brighter outlook for the job market one day before the government reports on August employment.
Weekly applications for unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 365,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 371,250.
Unemployment benefit applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. When they consistently fall below 375,000, it suggests that hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.
Separately, payroll provider ADP said businesses added 201,000 jobs last month. That’s the most reported by the survey since March. And ADP said July job growth was stronger than first thought: (Nationally) Employers created 173,000 jobs — 10,000 more jobs than the group reported last month. Salt Lake Tribune