Jobless Claims Are Lowest Since April, But There’s a Caveat

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 08: Job seekers line up to attend the New York City Startup Job Fair on April 8, 2011 in New York City. Over 700 people attended the job fair, which featured 40 New York-based start-up companies. As the American economy continues to pick up speed the unemployment rate has fallen from 9.8 percent to 8.8 percent. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images) Photo: Spencer Platt/2011 Getty Images

The Labor Department reported today that just 391,000 people filed jobless claims in the week that ended September 24. Which is great! That's 37,000 fewer people out of work since the last jobless claims report. The monthly numbers are also good, but less dramatically so: They fell by just 5,250 over the previous month.

Here's the thing, though. The the Labor Department isn't so sure about that weekly number. They're saying the positive numbers for the week might have something to do with "technical issues."

A Labor official said 2011 was an unusual calendar year that made seasonal adjustments harder to calculate. The government's data may also have been affected by recent holidays and several major storms, he said.

So basically they threw up their hands and said, eh, let's give 'em some good news! Whatever, we'll take it.

Weekly jobless claims sink by by 37k to 391k, lowest since April