More Signs of Life?

I didn’t have time to mention this yesterday:

Jobless claims hit three-year low

New weekly claims for unemployment benefits come in lower than Wall Street forecasts.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) – New jobless claims fell last week to the lowest level in more than three years, the government said Thursday, coming in lower than Wall Street analysts had expected.

The Labor Department said 336,000 people filed new claims for state unemployment benefits in the week ended March 13 compared with a revised 342,000 the prior week.

Two thoughts. First, despite my bringing this to your attention, don’t focus to much on the week-to-week unemployment claims figures; they can be rather volatile from one week to the next. If these low levels of claims continue for a few more weeks, then I’d say we’re really onto something.

Second, with the caveat just mentioned, this is another small piece of evidence of a strengthening economy. I’ve thought for a while that the economy would do well in the first half of the year, then sputter out in the second half of the year. So far the economy has done less well this year than I thought it would… but that could be changing.


p.s. Let me add a hearty welcome to Karsten. I am eagerly looking forward to more of his excellent contributions.