News Summary: US Jobless Claims Fall To 5-year Low

By The Associated Press

APPLICATIONS FALL: The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid fell 5,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 330,000, the lowest level in five years.

VOLATILE DATA: The decline partly reflects the government's difficulty adjusting its numbers to account for layoffs after the holiday shopping season. Layoffs spike in the second week of January as retailers cut temporary workers. They then fall sharply in the following weeks.

POSITIVE TREND: If the declining trend holds up, it would suggest that the job market is improving. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. Falling layoffs sometimes coincide with more hiring.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

More from Opinion

Why Ether and Ripple -- But Not Bitcoin -- Prices Might Come Under Pressure Soon

Why Ether and Ripple -- But Not Bitcoin -- Prices Might Come Under Pressure Soon

Daily Chatter: Here's Where the Markets Stand After Tuesday's Beating

Daily Chatter: Here's Where the Markets Stand After Tuesday's Beating

3 New Investing Myths That Must Be Busted

3 New Investing Myths That Must Be Busted

Why a Global Stock Market Crash Is Coming

Why a Global Stock Market Crash Is Coming

Sears CEO Eddie Lampert Looks Like He Is Sucking Company Dry

Sears CEO Eddie Lampert Looks Like He Is Sucking Company Dry