Jobless Claims Reach Lowest Level Since 2006
In the week ending July 19, 2014, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 284,000, the lowest level for initial claims since February 18, 2006 when they were 283,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported.
In a related report, the Wall Street Journal reported that while weekly claims have been hovering near 300,000 since May, the figures have not dropped below that level consistently since 2006, before the economy fell into a recession. And at that time, the unemployment rate was well below 5%. In June, it was 6.1%, WSJ reported.
According to WSJ, a Labor Department analyst said nothing was unusual in this week’s data beyond the expected seasonal factors. “The data are obviously consistent with an improving labor market and I do think that the labor market is improving,” said economist Stephen Stanley at Pierpont Securities. “To the extent that they are sending a signal (as opposed to noise), [the claims figures] point to further firming in recent weeks.”