The number of laid-off workers seeking state unemployment was 336,000 during the week that ended March 13 and the four-week average of initial claims was down 2,000 to 344,000. Although the number of claims is still high and payrolls are not growing fast enough to keep up with the nation's growing population, the numbers indicate job cuts are slowing. "People aren't getting laid off, but they also aren't getting hired," said David Wyss, chief economist for Standard & Poor's.

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