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In this Aug. 2, 2012 photo, ironworker Stephen MacGray cuts a steel brace at the World Trade Center construction site, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits plunged 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 359,000, a hopeful sign for the job market. It’s the lowest level of weekly applications in nine weeks.

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