Associated Press Release
By: CHRISTOPHER S. RUGABER
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits dropped 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 320,000, the fewest since October 2007 -- a sign of dwindling layoffs and steady if modest job growth.
The Labor Department says the less volatile four-week average fell 4,000 to 332,000, the fewest since November 2007 and the fifth straight decline.
Applications, which reflect layoffs, have fallen 14 percent this year. That's a sign that companies are cutting fewer workers. But hiring is still sluggish, resulting in only modest net job gains.
Employers have added an average of 192,000 jobs a month this year. The unemployment rate declined to 7.4 percent in July, a 4 1/2 year low. That's still well above the 5 percent to 6 percent range associated with a normal economy.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.