Jobless Claims Hold Steady at 351,000
(Feb. 23, 2012) -- New U.S. 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 today. The prior week's figure was revised up to 351,000 from the previously reported 348,000.
The last two weekly readings have been the lowest since March 2008. The four-week moving average for new claims, a measure of labor market trends, fell 7,000 to 359,000 - also the lowest since March 2008.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast initial claims rising to 354,000