There were 388,000 first-time claims for jobless benefits last week, down just 1,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.
And in another sign that the labor market’s recovery remains sluggish, the agency said “the 4-week moving average was 381,750, an increase of 6,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 375,500.” That measure is said by economists to be a better gauge of the underlying trend in claims.
The number of weekly claims has been below 400,000 since last October. But they have also edged up since February, when they dipped to near 360,000.
The Associated Press calls the news “a sign that hiring has likely slowed since winter.”