Jan. 24 - U.S. weekly jobless claims drop to 5-year low, a hopeful signal that the U.S. labor market healing. Bobbi Rebell reports.
The Daily Digit today is 330,000. That's how many Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week. The number is at the lowest level since the early days of the recent recession, a hopeful sign for the sluggish labor market. It is also much better than a rise to 355,000 analysts predicted in a Reuters poll. The jobless claims have now fallen for two straight weeks, suggesting that even if employers are concerned about tax hikes enacted this year, they are not laying off as many people. It is also encouraging news ahead of the January monthly jobs report. Employers added 155,000 new positions in December and the unemployment rate held steady at 7.8%. But economists have warned against reading too deeply into January's jobless claims figures. Claims tend to be volatile around this time of the year- because of the tools used to adjust for seasonal factors.