Is This Jobs Report Proof of an Economy On the Mend?

jobsThe number of Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits decreased more than expected last week, indicating that the United States economy is slowly coming back to life.

Economist polled by Reuters had expected claims to fall to 360,000, but instead, the Labor Department reported on Thursday that initial jobless claims dropped by 27,000, hitting a seasonally-adjusted 341,000. Unlike Superstorm Sandy, last week’s blizzard in the Northeast appears to have had little effect on the broader claims data, a department analyst told the publication.

While companies may not be laying off workers as aggressively as they have in the past, with consumer demand still soft, hiring has not gathered much momentum. The economy has struggled to grow since the 2007-2009 recession came to an end, and growth has barely surpassed 2 percent, according to Reuters.