FEWER JOBLESS CLAIMS: Weekly U.S. unemployment benefit applications fell 25,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 370,000, the government said Thursday. The third straight drop shows a temporary spike caused by Superstorm Sandy has faded.
PRE-STORM LEVELS: Weekly applications are back to pre-storm levels that are consistent with modest hiring. Applications had spiked a month ago after Sandy shuttered businesses in the Northeast.
QUICK RECOVERY: Some analysts were encouraged by the quick drop. Pierre Ellis, an economist at Decision Economics, said the decline suggests companies are quickly re-hiring workers displaced by the storm. Rebuilding and repair efforts could also be creating jobs, he said.