The number of first time claims was at its lowest since last February. CNN:
There were 381,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Dec. 3, the Labor Department said Thursday. That was down 23,000 from the prior week's 402,000 jobless claims and the lowest level since February 26.
A level below 400,000 often signals job growth strong enough to lower the unemployment rate, many economists say.
But the numbers could have been affected by seasonal adjustments for the Thanksgiving holiday, according to Ian Shepherdson, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.
"You should probably expect a modest rebound next week," Shepherdson said in a research note. "Thanksgiving seasonals are tricky and the Labor Dept says they flattered the numbers."
Perhaps just as significantly, the number of people filing for a second week of unemployment dropped to the lowest level since September, 2008.
With a record number of discouraged workers and many people working part time who want full time employment, this news is not likely to materially alter the situation for those who most need it.