Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week as the recovering economy moves closer to generating more jobs.
The Labor Department said Thursday that new jobless benefit claims dropped 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 439,000, nearly matching analysts' estimates. It's the fourth drop in five weeks.
The four-week average of claims, which smooths volatility, fell by nearly 7,000 to 447,250, the lowest total since the week of Sept. 13, 2008, just before Lehman Brothers collapsed and the financial crisis intensified.
Most economists expect jobless claims will soon drop below 425,000, a level that will likely signal sustained job creation.
We have a nice pattern forming here. That's four drops in five weeks and that's a clearly positive pattern. The four week rolling weekly average has also dropped about 100,000 jobs in the last six months. Also, Toyota announced positive sales numbers. All this good news leads into tomorrow's job's numbers.