In a sign that the economy may be slowly improving, the total number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits increased last week, totaling 374,000.

The Associated Press reports that the figures from the Labor Department are a sign that the unemployment rate is likely to fall. The source states that when the number of applications is lower than 375,000, experts believe that hiring is strong.

While some were encouraged by the news, there were others that remained skeptical about the overall recovery. According to some, more significant growth is needed to fully sustain a recovery.

"Given some of the indicators seen so far, the August payroll report is not going to look terribly inspirational," said Jennifer Lee, senior economist with BMO Capital Markets, according to the source.

It has been a major struggle for many to find work, even years after the recession began in 2008. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate stands at 8.2 percent.

Content provided by executive search organization, MRINetwork.

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