Jobless claims fall to another 5-year low

  @AnnalynKurtz January 24, 2013: 9:30 AM ET
initial claims chart 012413

Initial claims for unemployment benefits fell for a second week in a row, and are hovering at their lowest level since January 2008.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

The number of Americans filing initial claims for unemployment benefits is hovering at its lowest level in five years, after falling for a second week in a row.

First-time claims for unemployment benefits fell by 5,000 last week to 330,000, down from 335,000 the previous week. That's the lowest level since January 2008.

It's unclear why claims have fallen so dramatically recently, but economists point to seasonal distortions in the data, which seem to happen every January. Over the last two weeks, initial claims have plummeted by 45,000.

"Weekly data are noisy, particularly at this time of year, so keep that in mind," said Jennifer Lee, senior economist at BMO Capital Markets. She pointed to a decline in the four-week moving average, which smooths out some of the choppiness, as an encouraging sign though.

Amid the recession, weekly claims had surged above 600,000. It took until the end of 2011, for them to fall below 400,000. Since then though, they've largely been stuck in the 350,000 to 400,000 range.

Related: A $5 million scheme to steal unemployment benefits

Meanwhile, continuing claims, a closely watched measure of those who remain on unemployment benefits for a second week or more, totaled about 3.16 million in the week ended Jan. 12, the most recent data available, a 71,000 drop from the week before. To top of page

Did you get a job recently? Tweet your story to @CNNMoney with the hashtag #igotajob.


Join the Conversation
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.36%4.24%
15 yr fixed3.39%3.26%
5/1 ARM3.36%3.27%
30 yr refi4.34%4.22%
15 yr refi3.38%3.24%
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
CNNMoney Sponsors
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.