Unemployment Aid Hits 7-Month Low, Trade Gap Falls

unemployment aid drops
unemployment aid drops

By Derek Kravitz and Martin Crutsinger


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The outlook for American jobs and trade looked a little brighter Thursday, despite growing uncertainty overseas. The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week fell to a seasonally adjusted 390,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. That's the fewest since April.

The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $43.1 billion in September, its lowest point of the year, the Commerce Department said. Foreign sales of American-made autos, airplanes and heavy machinery pushed exports to an all-time high.