The drop brought claims down to around their lowest level since early 2008, when the latest recession was just getting started and before the downturn got its grip on the economy.
Last week's decline is a positive sign. The Associated Press reminds readers that jobless claims "are a proxy for layoffs" and that when they drop, "it signals that companies are cutting fewer jobs." But the wire service adds that layoffs are only "half of the equation. Businesses also need to be confident enough in the economic outlook to step up hiring."