The number of Americans filing first-time claims for unemployment insurance dropped by 19,000 last week, to 366,000, the Employment and Training Administration reports. And that's the lowest level since May 2008.
Bloomberg News says the decline was not expected — most economists thought we would hear they remained around 390,000.
Reuters writes that "the unexpected drop in claims last week pushed them closer to the 350,000 mark that analysts say signals labor market strength. It offered further evidence of increased momentum in the pace of economic activity, even though retail sales rose modestly in November."
Bear in mind, of course, that one week does not make for a trend.
Also this hour, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that wholesale prices rose 0.3 percent last month.