Recent employment news points to a general improvement in U.S. employment. Last week, jobless claims dropped sharply. General Motors, which filed for bankruptcy in 2009, announced this week it will bring roughly 3,000 new employees into its IT department, according to The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal.

Jobless figures this week are up again, however, but not because of actual hiring trends. MarketWatch suggests that these new numbers account for jobless claims for last week that were filed late in California. The nation’s most populous state is also the state with highest number of claims. The number of Californians who ask for benefits is roughly equal to the sum of those in New York, Texas and Illinois, according to MarketWatch.

The news source explains that the confusion can be attributed to events in October, such as Columbus Day and the closing of the quarter, which can cause paperwork filing delays.

Fox News points out that job retention and hiring is still accelerating modestly, but that the U.S. economy isn’t progressing fast enough to give enough unemployed Americans jobs. This year however, contract employment for the holiday season is at its highest since before the recession, and companies like Amazon plan to turn seasonal contracts into full-time ones.

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