Here’s something you don’t see every day: good news from the labor market. New jobless claims fell by 24,000 in the week ending on July 23, to 398,000, the Labor Department announced today. That’s the lowest level of job loss since April, and significantly better than the 415,000 that a Bloomberg survey of economists predicted. It’s especially significant, the Atlantic explains, because anything below the 400,000 line is considered an indicator of “stable job growth.” The Dow, which has fallen for four straight days, rose on the news; it's currently up 76 points.
But don’t get too excited, because employers aren’t actually hiring, economists warn, so unemployment is likely to continue to remain close to 9%. “Layoffs clearly remain elevated, but the worst part of the adjustment to the first-half slowdown is abating,” one economist tells Bloomberg. ““I still don’t expect relief on the unemployment rate in the next few months.”