Kiara Crawford, Brittney Winkler and Jessyca Freeman (left to right) were among those applying for work last month at a job fair in Washington, D.C. Early data from that month signal that job growth may have gained some speed. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As the weather warms, will more signs such as this pop up? Economists say the latest data on claims for unemployment benefits may signal that better times are ahead. Eric Gay/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Eric Gay/AP

Looking for work in Florida. At a November career fair in West Palm Beach, this man had a job application in hand. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Joe Raedle/Getty Images