Jobless Claims Ping-pong Back Up

After falling two weeks ago to the lowest level since April 2008, claims last week sprung back up to 377,000, the Labor Department announced today.

This is exactly what’s been happening over the past month or so: claims fall to ridiculously low levels (lowest in 3.5 years!) and then spring back up.

The overall trend, however, has been one of improvement since September 2011, with the four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, steadily declining from 422,000 or so to 380,000.

“The job-market recovery remains on track,” Scott Brown, an economist who forecast claims would rise to 380,000, told Bloomberg. “The underlying trend is moderately low layoffs. We certainly have seen a lot volatility in the week to week numbers.”

Unlike last week, no state’s data was estimated, a labor official told Reuters.