US jobless claims hold steady at 4-year low

By REUTERS
February 23, 2012 16:12

WASHINGTON - New US claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged last week, holding at the lowest level since the early days of the 2007-2009 recession and giving a fresh sign the battered labor market is healing.

Workers filed 351,000 initial claims for state unemployment benefits, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

"It's broadly in line with recent US data showing a gradually improving economic backdrop," said Omer Esiner, a market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.

The last two weekly readings have been the lowest since March 2008.


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