The number of new applications for unemployment benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted 345,000. Economists consider claims below 400,000 an indication of an improving job market. A decrease in the unemployment rate in April to 5.6% coupled with a rebound in the job market, point to overall economic growth. Due to the improved job market, analysts predict that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates over the summer.
See Jeannine Aversa, Chicago Tribune, May 19, 2004