8:47am

Thu May 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Jobless Claims Held Steady Last Week; Back To 4-Year Low

Originally published on Thu May 17, 2012 10:25 am

There were 370,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, the same number as during the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

So, after a spike to a range around 390,000 per week in April, claims have slowed again to a pace that's roughly the lowest since the spring of 2008.

According to The Wall Street Journal, that suggests "the recently volatile labor market is stabilizing."

But Reuters takes a different angle, saying the news "will do little to ease concerns about a recent slowdown in jobs growth" because the no-change-news comes "on the heels of three straight months of slowing employment gains."

Update at 10:20 a.m. ET. Leading Indicators Tick Down:

The morning's other economic news is that The Conference Board's Leading Economic Index edged down 0.1 percent in April from March, "following a 0.3 percent increase in March, and a 0.7 percent increase in February." Still, the index, which aims to forecast how the economy will be doing in coming months, stands at 95.5 — not far below the 100 reading it typically hit or exceeded before the recession that began in December 2007.

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