Celebrate! We Just Hit a Key Jobs Figure

Europe might be headed for a recession. China's growth looks like its slowing. The Middle East is, par for the course, in turmoil. And somehow, like a horse with with a particularly effective pair of blinders, the U.S. economy is pushing ahead along the road to economic recovery.

Today, the Labor Department announced that new jobless claims had fallen close to a four year low -- with 348,000 Americans filing for unemployment benefits. That's remarkably close to the 344,000 jobless claims that were filed the week of December 1, 2007, when the recession started. The four-week moving average was as low as its been since March, 2008.

4_Week_Average.png

Economists polled by Reuters and Bloomberg had actually predicted that unemployment claims could rise. Instead, we got a pleasant surprise that reaffirmed that the U.S. economy is getting its footing. And as Reuters notes, when jobless claims fall below 350,000, it's usually a sign of sustainable employment growth. As long as the numbers stay around here, or drop further, the U.S. labor market should be in good shape.

Assuming the rest of the world doesn't get in our way, that is. 


>

Presented by

Jordan Weissmann is a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.

The Blacksmith: A Short Film About Art Forged From Metal

"I'm exploiting the maximum of what you can ask a piece of metal to do."

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Riding Unicycles in a Cave

"If you fall down and break your leg, there's no way out."

Video

Carrot: A Pitch-Perfect Satire of Tech

"It's not just a vegetable. It's what a vegetable should be."

Video

An Ingenious 360-Degree Time-Lapse

Watch the world become a cartoonishly small playground

Video

The Benefits of Living Alone on a Mountain

"You really have to love solitary time by yourself."

Video

The Rise of the Cat Tattoo

How a Brooklyn tattoo artist popularized the "cattoo"

More in Business

Just In