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Jobless claims lowest since 2008

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits dropped by 50,000 applicants to 352,000–the lowest since April 2008

Eric Risberg/AP
Job seekers stand in line at a career fair in San Francisco, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012. The number of people seeking unemployment benefits plummeted last week to the lowest level since April 2008, an optimistic sign for the job market.

I mean, that's the headline - is it not?  Jobless Claims are a noisy number for many reasons but when taken as a trend, they are meaningful and they are leading jobs indicator if not a leading economic indicator.

Sure, it's one piece of the puzzle, but a 3rd grader can understand this concept - less people claiming unemployment benefits is a good thing.

Here's the AP with this morning's report:

The number of people seeking unemployment benefits plummeted last week to 352,000, the fewest since April 2008. The decline added to evidence that the job market is strengthening.

Applications fell 50,000, the biggest drop in the seasonally adjusted figure in more than six years, the Labor Department said Thursday. The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations, dropped to 379,000. That's the second-lowest such figure in more than three years.

Plenty to dislike out there, but not this.

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