Jobless claims dipped to 383,000 last week, a decrease of 36,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 419,000, the Labor Department announced today. That is, says CNNMoney, a two and a half year low.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure of unemployment, dropped to 415,500.
Expect next week’s numbers to jump back up: economists aren’t yet sure the data coming from the Labor Department is “clean,” or free of weather-related distortions.
Meanwhile, for the week ended Jan. 22, the most recent week for which numbers were available, 9.4 million Americans were receiving some form of unemployment assistance, including 3.8 mililon who had exhausted their regular state benefits.