Jobless Claims Fall To Lowest Level In Seven Months

Jobless claims fell to 390,000 last week, the Labor Department reported today. That’s the lowest level since April and 10,000 claims fewer than Bloomberg economists had forecast.

If jobless claims remain below 350,000 consistently, it will signal a turnaround in the labor market. So today’s news is an important step in the right direction but doesn’t yet mean the recession is over.

For the week ended Oct. 22, the most recent week data were available, 6.8 million people (an increase of 50,000 people from the prior week) were receiving some form of unemployment benefits. But that doesn’t show the true scope of the problem—an AP article earlier this week stated that more than half of America’s unemployed have exhausted their benefits and so are no longer receiving checks.