The outlook for hiring has been mixed in recent months. The economy added only 80,000 jobs in October, the fewest in four months.
But the government also said last week that employers added more jobs in August and September than it had initially reported, and the unemployment rate dipped to 9 percent.
A separate report this week showed that employers advertised more jobs in September than at any other point in the past three years. That’s a positive sign for future hiring, since most companies typically take one to three months to fill vacant positions.
The unemployment rate has been stuck near 9 percent for more than two years, and the Federal Reserve said last week that it is not expected to fall significantly through the end of next year.
The number of people receiving unemployment aid under regular state programs dropped 92,000 to 3.62 million in the week that ended Oct. 29. That doesn’t include more than 3 million who are receiving extended benefits under an emergency program paid for by the federal government.
All told, more than 6.8 million people received benefits in the week that ended Oct. 22, the last period for which inclusive figures are available.