Jan. 17 - The number of Americans filing for first-time jobless benefits tumbled to a five-year low last week, a hopeful sign for the sluggish labor market. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit is five. The new claims for unemployment benefits hit a five-year low last week according to U.S. Labor Department. The number plunged 37,000 to a seasonally adjusted 335,000, the lowest level since January 2008. It was the largest weekly drop in almost three years and a hopeful sign for the sluggish labor market. The prior week's was revised to show 1,000 more applications than previously reported. Economists point out, the weekly jobless numbers can be quite fickle this time of year. Also a factor - the numbers are likely normalizing after a spike caused by the disruption of Super Storm Sandy. Nevertheless, the big drop is seen as a positive.