1. The weekly number itself is not a good representation since according to some economists that the claims are pretty volatile from week to week.
2. The lower number may be due to the number of people who had become not eligible for filling a claim after a extend period.
The number of claims has been used as one of the most important economic indicators, but the number seems weak at this time. One can see that many politicians are still worried, especially when we still see that senators want to pass a bill that would extend the federally funded extended emergency unemployment benefits to May 31.
The Federal Reserve chair, Janet Yellen, (4/16/2014) predicts that the economic recovery needs another two years with the conditions that central bank must be strong. Keeping the rate low for now is crucial because the labor market is still weak and overall, people still have problem of looking for jobs especially for those long-term unemployed and people working part-time since they are no full time jobs available.
In short, stronger labor market is still needed for keeping the inflation low and for long-term stability of the economy.