That is a big move down.
He said there was nothing unusual in the state level data and that no states had been estimated.
Though, claims are somewhat volatile this time of year. Between the Seasonal Adjustment and the Non-Seasonal Adjustment.
Still, the 4 week moving average (which helps smooth out that volatility) declined to 359,250. If the claims finally get down to 350k and below on average, we should start seeing some months of 200k+ job growth.
I think there's been a big relief in the investment/business community that taxes didn't go up as much as feared and that's unlocking some short term spending.
The next issue obviously is fixing the debt ceiling argument. But, should the US government actually work its way thru these issues and provide some more clarity on policy going forward, business spending could be big this year.
Business spending started to decline almost immediately in 2012, 12 months before the "Cliff", to the point where there was very little in Q3 and Q4. Consumer spending, Housing, and the Energy Economy were largely responsible for growing GDP last year.