The number of people seeking unemployment aid changed little last week, signaling modest job growth.
The Labor Department says weekly unemployment benefit applications dipped by 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 370,000.
Applications have leveled off in May after spiking in April to as high as 392,000 - a five month high. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, was also 370,000 last week.
The lower level suggests hiring could pick up a bit in May from April's sluggish pace. When applications drop below 375,000 a week, it typically suggests hiring is strong enough to lower the unemployment rate.
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Economists forecast employers will add 160,000 jobs this month. That's above April's gains but below the pace set this winter.