Fewer people applied for unemployment benefits for the second week in a row.
Jobless claims fell to 238,000 last week.
The Labor Department had reported 261,000 claims the previous week.
That’s a difference of 23,000 claims.
Economists are optimistic about the Labor Department monthly jobs report scheduled to come out Friday.
Analysts forecast that the economy added about 175,000 jobs in January.
The unemployment rate is expected to stay at 3.9%.
Economists believe the latest job market disruptions are over and job growth will pick up.