This is a clear indication of the job market recovery.
First-time claims for unemployment benefits plummeted by 37,000 in just one week, falling to 335,000 from 372,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said Thursday. That’s the lowest since January 2008.
The weekly number is much lower than economists had expected. Forecasts had predicted a total of 370,000 in the week ended Jan. 12, according to a consensus compiled by Briefing.com…
The weekly tally of jobless claims has improved dramatically over the last four years. Initial claims surged above 600,000 during the height of the recession, but by the end of 2011, had fallen below 400,000.
Last year, initial claims tended to stay in the range of 350,000 to 400,000, aside from a temporary bump due to Superstorm Sandy.