WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people applying for unemployment benefits was mostly unchanged last week. A slight dip in applications suggests the job market isn't getting much better.
The Labor Department says applications ticked down 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 404,000.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, declined for the third straight week to 408,000. That's the lowest average in eight weeks.
Still, applications are higher than they would be in a healthy economy. They need to fall consistently below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth. They haven't been below that level since February.