WASHINGTON — The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits declined 20,000 last week to 331,000, suggesting that Americans are facing fewer layoffs and better job prospects.
The Labor Department said the four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up 250 to 334,000. That remains near pre-recession levels and serves as evidence that job losses have waned.
A total of 3.47 million Americans received benefits as of Jan. 18, down from 3.58 million the week before.
Read tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.