The number of people in the United States applying for unemployment insurance increased last week, according to figures from the Labor Department.

The agency said that 2,000 more people had signed up for benefits, lower than the rate seen in recent months. The seasonally adjusted average totaled 366,000, which, according to The Associated Press, indicates that fewer companies were laying off employees. According to experts, the figures indicate that there is progress being made when it comes to employment in the U.S.

"Claims so far in August have declined moderately compared to July, suggesting some improvement in the U.S. job environment. And that’s good news," Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in an interview with the news source.

There are other signs that the market for job seekers may be improving. The recently released  August 2012 Employment Outlook, conducted by Simply Hired, found that there had been a 9.9 percent increase in July compared to the month before.

Content provided by executive search organization, MRINetwork.

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