The Department of Labor just released its latest weekly tally of initial unemployment insurance claims, and the numbers are encouraging.
Claims fell to 315,000 from 324,000 a week ago.
Economists estimates claims would ticked up to 330,000.
The 4-week moving average fell to 330,500 from 336,750 last week.
"Claims data have been volatile dating back to last fall, as factors such as computer system upgrades, seasonal adjustments related to moving holidays, and severe weather all potentially complicated the interpretation of the previously steady downward trend," said Barclays' Cooper Howes. "That being said, the 4wma has settled in around where it was last summer before these factors came into play, suggesting that it may be stabilizing.
Continuing claims slipped to 2.855 million from 2.903 million.
"The gradual improvement in continuing claims is consistent with recently increased consumer optimism about the state of the labor market, suggesting that more unemployed workers are gradually becoming gainfully employed," said TD Securities' Gennadiy Goldberg.
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