WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits slipped last week to 366,000, still holding roughly in the same range as the past year, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Claims in the week to February 2 were 5,000 less than the previous week's revised number, while the four-week moving average was 350,500, pulled lower by the sharply lower claims of the middle two weeks of January.
Overall the jobs situation in the United States appears to be only slowly improving. On February 1 the government reported that the economy added a middling 157,000 net new jobs, and the jobless rate ticked up to 7.9 percent.
The rate has vacillated between 7.8 percent and 7.9 percent since September.