Applications for Unemployment Aid Drop Below 400K -- A Good Sign for the Job Market?

By Christopher S. Rugaber

WASHINGTON -- The number of people seeking unemployment benefits dropped last week to the lowest level since early April, a sign the job market may be healing after a recent slump.

The Labor Department says weekly applications fell 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 398,000. That's the first time applications have fallen below 400,000 in 16 weeks.