Speed Reads


Jobless claims the lowest since February 2006

Following the good news that food stamp usage is finally falling, here is another sign that the U.S. economy is finally healing. Bloomberg reports that jobless claims decreased by 14,000 to 289,000 in the week that ended Aug. 2 from 303,000 in the prior period, according to a Labor Department report.

Bloomberg's survey of economists had estimated a rise in jobless claims, perhaps influenced by last month's news that Microsoft would be making 18,000 layoffs, the largest number of job firings in its history.

But the happiest news is that the four-week average of new jobless claims dropped to 293,500. That's the lowest that measure has been since February 2006, long before the financial crisis and subsequent recession.