According to reports, the number of Americans filing new unemployment benefits claims fell unexpectedly last week, touching a 5½ year low.
Claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000, the lowest level since January 2008, the Labor Department reported. Two thousand more claim applications were received for the prior week. Economists surveyed by Reuters expected first-time applications to rise to 345,000 last week.
Because of summer auto plant shutdowns, claims were extremely volatile in July, but the this latest report shows there a bright side to unemployment.