Labor Department Shares a Pleasant Surprise

The U.S. Labor Department had some more good news on jobs last week, revealing that unemployment claims had dropped quite dramatically.

For the week ending March 5, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 259,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

That’s a big drop – to the lowest level seen since October of last year — and well beyond what economists had been expecting.

The 4-week moving average was 267,500, a decrease of 2,500 from the previous week’s revised average, Labor said.

This news comes on the heels of a strong jobs report that had the economy adding 242,000 jobs in February.

A strong job market is needed now if the U.S. is going to weather the economic storms still brewing overseas. The latest new from that front was an announcement that the European Central Bank is launching a major stimulus program.

This could further devalue the Euro against the U.S. Dollar, and make U.S. exports even more uncompetitive than they already are in this strong dollar environment.

Having a robust domestic hiring pipeline will certainly help to offset the potential job losses at big exporting firms in the U.S.

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