In states around the nation's capital unemployment is falling or holding steady.
Maryland's rate has remained at 7.2 percent since June. In Virginia, the rate has now dropped to 6.5 percent in August from 6.9 percent in July.
William F. Mezger, chief economist for the Virginia Employment Commission, said job claims were down as the pace of layoffs in his state decreased in August. "We had over 7 percent unemployment in June," he said. "We probably won't see it again in '09 the way it looks."
Nationally the report this week showed that initial claims fell another 12,000 in the Sept. 12 week on top of the surprising 19,000 drop in the Labor Day week.
With unemployment rates now falling in 16 states, the confidence spike should continue with consumers, small business, builders and investors.