By Christopher S. Rugaber
WASHINGTON -- Fewer Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, though applications remain above levels consistent with a healthy economy.
The Labor Department said Thursday that unemployment benefit applications fell 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 414,000, the second drop in three weeks. That's a positive sign that layoffs are slowing.
Still, applications have been above 400,000 for 10 straight weeks, evidence that the job market is weak compared to earlier this year.