Initial Jobless Claims for the week ended Feb 18th totaled 351k, 4k less than expected but the prior week was revised up by 3k to 351k. The 4 week average did fall to 359k from 366k, the lowest since Mar ’08. Continuing Claims fell by 52k to the lowest since Aug ’08. Also, Extended Benefits fell a net 69k. Bottom line, the data still points to a labor market that continues to improve however lumpy the process feels for many.
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