Initial unemployment claims dropped for the 4th consecutive week, declining 3.6% to 348,000. This is the lowest week of claims since March 2008. Between today’s pre-recession claims-level and the pre-recession manufacturing capacity figures today is clearly a day of good news. However, with last month’s labor force participation rate decline and systemic, long-term unemployment woes, it is clear employment is still a major issue.
-From the St. Louis Federal Reserve and the Bureau of Labor Statistics