Jobless Claims Fall to Lowest Level Since Apr. 2008
In another positive sign that the U.S. labor market is gradually improving, the Labor Department reported today that the four-week moving average for initial jobless claims fell to 362,250 for the week ending February 11, which is the lowest level since the week of April 26, 2008, almost four years ago (see chart above). This marks the fifth consecutive weekly decline in the four-week moving average, and the tenth decline in the last eleven weeks. The number of seasonally-adjusted initial claims (not the four-week average) fell to 348,000, the lowest level since early March 2008.
If the current rate of decline in jobless claims over the last few months continues (-3,100 average per week since December), the four-week moving average for initial jobless claims will be back to pre-recession, November 2007 levels by mid April.