Jobless Claims Lowest Since April 2008

Source: Susanna Kim / ABC News

Weekly unemployment claims fell to a seasonally adjusted 352,000 last week, the lowest level since April 2008, a sign that country’s job situation could be improving.

Stephen Bronars, chief economist with Welch Consulting, called it a “good number,” although weekly jobless claims are volatile this time of year because of post-holiday layoffs and the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. The Department of Labor relies on reports from state agencies, and because many field offices were closed Monday, Thursday’s report is an estimate.

Until a few more weeks of data continue to signal improvement, “we should not overreact to one week of good news,” Bronars said.

“After years of downsizing and job losses, there were fewer layoffs in 2011 than any year in the past decade,” he said. ”So its actually surprising that jobless claims are as high as they have been.”

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