Job market perks up
The job market may have perked up last month, according to three reports released Thursday.
Fewer companies announced plans to lay off workers and private businesses said they're hiring more people in June. Meanwhile, claims for unemployment benefits fell during the last week of the month.
About 374,000 people filed for first-time unemployment benefits last week, 14,000 fewer than the week before, the Labor Department reported.
Meanwhile, 3.3 million Americans continued to file their second week of claims or more.
More good news: Companies also announced fewer layoffs in June, according to data collected by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. Employers announced 37,551 planned job cuts, the lowest number in 13 months, the report said.
And separately, a report released by payroll-processing company ADP beat expectations and showed that private businesses added 176,000 jobs in June, a significant improvement over the month before.
Small businesses continued to drive job growth, with companies employing fewer than 50 employees hiring 93,000 people.
Large companies with 500 or more employees hired 11,000 new workers, and medium-sized businesses added 72,000 to their payrolls.
The ADP report typically sets the tone for the Labor Department's jobs report due Friday.
Economists surveyed by CNNMoney expect that report to show the economy added 80,000 jobs, after factoring in some government layoffs. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 8.2% in June.