There were 42,000 fewer first-time claims for unemployment insurance benefits last week than in the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.
It says that:
"In the week ending Jan. 29, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 415,000, a decrease of 42,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 457,000. The 4-week moving average was 430,500, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average of 429,500."
While the decline is sizeable, it appears to be at least partly weather-related. The Associated Press notes that "applications had surged in the previous week after snow storms in the South disrupted work and led to temporary layoffs."