Looking a little better once more.
Applications for jobless benefits dropped 5,000 to 366,000 in the week ended Feb. 2, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 360,000 claims, according to the median of 53 estimates in a Bloomberg survey.
The four-week moving average of jobless claims, a less- volatile measure, fell to 350,500, the lowest since March 2008, from 352,750. The average reflects a plunge to 330,000 in initial claims two weeks ago that reflected difficulty in adjusting the data from the holidays and the start of a quarter.
The number of people continuing to collect jobless benefits rose by 8,000 to 3.22 million in the week ended Jan. 26. The continuing claims figure does not include the number of workers receiving extended benefits under federal programs.