The steady trend of declining applications for unemployment benefits certainly seems to be at an end, as 386,000 people sought the benefits last week, down 2,000 from the previous revised figure of 388,000 but up from the preliminary 380,000 reported a week ago.
The four-week moving average, which is seen as a more stable number, "was 374,750, an increase of 5,500 from the previous week's revised average of 369,250," according to the Department of Labor. The Associated Press always likes to point out that "when applications fall below 375,000, it generally suggests hiring will be strong enough to lower the unemployment rate." Not only did that not happen for a second week in a row, but now the moving average is coming dangerously close to that 375,000 threshold. Let's hope things start moving the other direction soon.