In a number marking a nine-month low, there are less Americans with new claims for state unemployment benefits. People smarter than we are who know about these things think this is a good indication for the job market overall.
The Labor Department report released today says a drop of 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000 new claims is the lowest since late February, reports Reuters. Experts had predicted the number to be at around 395,000.
Coupled with last week’s news of a rise in hiring and a low 8.6 percent unemployment rate for November could mean this part of our economy is on its way up. Economists are also happy that we’re not about to be wrapped up in the kind of recession brouhaha Europe is going through. Score for us!
“It looks as if the U.S. labor market does not know how to spell the word euro contagion,” said Cary Leahey, economist at Decision Economics in New York. “This is a good report … adds to the sense that the job market continues to brighten, though very slowly.”
A warning however, from officials, who say that soon we’re coming into a period of seasonal layoffs, after the surge in holiday hirings is over. So, be careful to get too excited, but also, yay. A cautious yay.
Jobless claims at 9-month low last week [Reuters]