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Weekly Jobless Claims Stay Near 5-Year Low

There were 323,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, down 4,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Note: As often happens, the previous week's figure is a slight revision from what was reported earlier. Initially, the ETA said there had been 324,000 first-time claims during the week ending April 27. Now, it says there were 327,000 that week.

The bottom line, as we said last week, is that "claims continue to run around the lowest pace since early 2008 — they haven't been lower since a week in mid-January 2008 when they came in at 321,000."

Bloomberg News puts this interpretation on the latest figures: They're "a signal employers are confident enough in the economic outlook to hold on to workers."

Thursday's relatively good news follows last week's word that the nation's unemployment rate edged down to 7.5 percent in April.

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