In an indication of an improving economy, the number of first-time unemployment benefits claims fell last week by 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 290,000, according to the Labor Department. These claims have been falling since the end of the 2008 recession and hit a 14 year low in October 2014. Since then, these figures have fluctuated due to seasonal factors but indicate that the American economy is on net creating jobs. In February, 295,000 jobs were created, and the unemployment rate hit 5.5%, the lowest level since May 2008.
However, other factors indicate that the economy has not yet fully recovered from the 2008 recession- wages have largely stagnated, many Americans are employed only part time, and a historically high number of working age people have left the labor market.