Claims for Jobless Benefits Drop to Two-Year Low

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REUTERS/Robert Galbraith

In what looks like a positive sign for economic recovery, the number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits last week fell to the lowest level since August 2008.

During the week ending on July 10, 429,000 people made claims for jobless benefits. This number is down 29,000 from the previous week and lower than the 450,000 experts predicted for the week.

Continuing claims actually went up, rising to 4,861,000 for the week ending July 3. But CNNMoney says continuing claims often do not reflect overall employment trends.

The Wall Street Journal warns to not get too excited about the falling jobless benefits. Aside from the general advice to not read too much into week-by-week claims, manufacturers like General Motors, which normally halts production during the summer, is staying open, leaving more people with jobs this season. Without seasonal adjustments, initial jobless benefits actually rose to 513,347. Still, this number is much less than at the same time last year, and manufacturers are staying open to stave off high demand. These are all generally good signs — but nothing to celebrate just yet.