A “Now Hiring” hangs on display at a Dick’s Sporting Goods in California. Companies might not be hiring as rapidly as they were a year ago, but they aren’t firing many workers, either. New jobless claims fell in late July close to a postrecession low. The numbers: The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level in more than three months, reflecting the persistent strength of a U.S. labor in which layoffs have fallen to the lowest level in decades.
Initial jobless claims, a rough way to measure layoffs, dropped 10,000 to 206,000 in the seven days ended July 20, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch estimated new claims would total a seasonally adjusted 218,000. The more stable monthly average of new claims declined by a smaller 5,750 to 213,000. The four-week average usually gives a more accurate read into labor-market conditions than the more volatile weekly number. Read: Economy likely to get mediocre grade on next report card, but don’t buy it What happened: New York reported a raw or unadjusted 13,514
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