On the heels of improved employment figures for the month of July, the first week of August continued the trend, providing some good news for both permanent and contract workers.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the number of seasonally adjusted unemployment insurance claims for the week ending August 6 was 395,000 – a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week and significantly lower than the four-week moving average of 405,000.

The insured unemployment rate saw a 0.1 percentage point decrease for the week ending July 30, coming in at an unrevised rate of 3.0 percent, the agency reported. In terms of numbers, though, the impact seemed considerably larger.

"The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending July 30 was 3,688,000, a decrease of 60,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 3,748,000," the report said.

However, the decrease in unemployment claims doesn't seem to be coinciding with an uptick in optimism, especially among small businesses. The National Federation of Independent Business' Small Business Optimism Index fell for the fifth consecutive month in July, dropping 0.9 points.

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