Bloomberg: Applications for unemployment benefits fell more than forecast last week to the lowest level since April, a sign the weakness in the labor market is fading.
Jobless claims dropped by 24,000 to 398,000 in the week ended July 23, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median estimate of economists in a Bloomberg News survey called for a drop to 415,000. Another report showed the number of contracts to buy previously owned homes unexpectedly rose in June.
“The figures are encouraging, though we need to see a sustained decline in claims,” said James O’Sullivan, global chief economist at MF Global Inc. in New York. “The direction in claims invariably sends the right signal for growth in employment.”