WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of people applying for U.S. unemployment benefits ticked down last week after dropping sharply the previous week, evidence hiring could pick up this month.

Weekly applications dropped 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 367,000 in the week ending May 5, the Labor Department said Thursday. The previous week's figure was revised up slightly.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell by 5,250 to 379,000. It was the first decline since late March.

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