A little better:
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 29,000 to a seasonally adjusted 469,000 in the week ended February 27, down from an upwardly revised 498,000 the prior week, the Labor Department said. * Analysts polled by Reuters had expected claims to drop to 470,000 from a previously reported 496,000 the prior week. * Initial claims data in recent weeks has been distorted by bad weather, making it difficult to gauge the labor market trend. * The four-week moving average of new claims, which irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,500 to 470,750, the Labor Department said. * The number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid dropped 134,000 to 4.5 million in the week ended February 20, the lowest since early January 2009. * The insured unemployment rate, which measures the percentage of the insured labor force that is jobless, slipped to 3.5 percent in the week ended February 20 from 3.6 percent.
Analysis and commentary at the link.