The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance fell to 457,000 last week, a figure that signals the labor market will be slow to improve even as the economy grows.
Initial jobless claims dropped by 11,000 in the week ended July 24 from a revised 468,000, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Applications were in line with the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. The number of people receiving unemployment benefits rose, while those getting extended payments declined.
Limited job gains may restrain consumer spending, underscoring forecasts the recovery will cool in the second half. A slowing in the pace of economic growth as seen by companies such as International Paper Co. may dissuade businesses from adding to payrolls.