WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people seeking unemployment benefits hardly changed for a second straight week, stuck at a high level that suggests a slowing job market.
The Labor Department says 427,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week, up 1,000 from the previous week. The figures are seasonally adjusted.
The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dipped to 424,000, its third straight drop. Still, the level is higher than at the beginning of the year.
Applications have been above 400,000 for the past nine weeks. It is one of many signs that the economy has faltered from earlier this year, when hiring was picking up and many economists expected growth to accelerate. Applications typically must dip below 375,000 to signal sustainable job growth. They peaked during the recession at 659,000.