The new just keeps getting better. After this morning's report that initial unemployment claims are at the lowest point in four years, the four-week moving average of initial claims -- a more meaningful gauge that smoothes out weekly noise -- is actually below the 30-year average:
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This isn't indicative of the broader unemployment rate, which is still high by historic standards any way you measure it. But it does reinforce two ideas: Businesses effectively are done slashing their workforces, and the jobs market is getting stronger. As a rough rule of thumb, initial jobless claims need to be below 350,000 for there to be consistent improvement in the unemployment rate. After initial claims fell to 348,000 last week, there's more reason to think the economy really is turning a corner.