First-time jobless claims are at their lowest level since the first week of October.
Economists forecast 369,000 claims, according to the Bloomberg survey median. The number of people on unemployment benefit rolls declined for a fourth straight week.
Jobless claims have dropped 108,000 in the latest four weeks after a superstorm Sandy-related surge, indicating companies are comfortable with current staffing levels. To help encourage more hiring, the Federal Reserve said yesterday that it intends to keep policy accommodative until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent from the current 7.7 percent.
“The job market is holding up reasonably well,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pennsylvania, the best forecaster of claims in the past two years, according to Bloomberg data.