WASHINGTON (AP) — New claims for jobless benefits fell last week in a sign that layoffs may be easing as the economy slowly recovers.
Meanwhile, retailers reported Thursday that sales rose in February by the largest amount since November 2007, a month before the recession began. Factory orders also rose in January, the Commerce Department said.
The reports provide fresh evidence that the economy is steadily growing. But it's not clear when that improvement will translate into new hiring.