New applications for unemployment benefits dropped 2,000 to 236,000, the Department of Labor reported Thursday, the lowest level since October.
Economists expected claims to drift up just slightly to 240,000, but for claims to remain near historic lows as applications from hurricane-slammed Puerto Rico leveled off.
Low jobless claims are a good sign. They suggest that layoffs are relatively rare, and accordingly that job growth is strong.
The Federal Reserve and private investors pay close attention to the claims numbers because they come out frequently. Thursday’s report sets expectations for Friday’s payroll jobs report for November.
This post originally appeared on Washington Examiner