There were 300,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits filed last week, the fewest since mid-May 2007, the Employment and Training Administration reported Thursday.
Claims were down 32,000 from the week before, the agency adds.
Reuters says the news "could bolster views of an acceleration in job growth after a cold winter dampened hiring."
Bloomberg News writes that if this means fewer people are being laid off, that could "help pave the way for a pickup in hiring as demand recovers from harsh winter weather, providing a bigger boost to the economy."
The data follow last week's modestly positive report about job growth. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said there were 192,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls in March and revised upward its estimate of job growth in February.
May 2007 was seven months before the economy slipped into its last recession. That downturn officially ended in June 2009, but job growth has remained relatively sluggish for much of the time since then.