Another report from the Labor Department showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for a fourth straight week last week.
“The labor market might be improving a bit quicker than expected,” said David Sloan, an economist at 4Cast in New York.ž
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 343,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week’s figure was revised to show 2,000 more applications than previously reported.
Last week’s drop left new claims at their lowest since the week of October 6, and well below the levels just before superstorm Sandy. Claims are now near their lowest since February 2008.
The four-week moving average for new claims, seen as a better measure of labor market trends, dropped 27,000 to 381,500. That was the lowest level since the week of November 3.
Let’s hope this is real.