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.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

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

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Business

Just In