Jobless claims declined by 42,000 filings for the week ending April 6, sending a small dose of optimism throughout the market on the jobs front.
But it also highlights how dramatic weekly fluctuations in jobless filings can be, with the government a week earlier reporting an increase of 2,000 claims.
Analysts with Econoday said big swings week-to-week highlight the need to evaluate the four-week moving average, which is holding at 385,000 filings – the highest since February.
"This suggests that the trend for the jobs market, despite the big improvement in the latest week, is no better than flat," Econoday said.
"Improvement in continuing claims may be slowing. Continuing claims did fall 12,000 in data for the March 30 week, but the 4-week average is up 5,000 from the prior week's recovery low to 3.079 million. The unemployment rate for insured workers, at 2.4 percent, has not moved lower since early February," the research firm added.