The Labor Department reported that initial claims for unemployment insurance declined 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 457,000 for the week ended June 19. Even though unemployment is down since the worst days of the recession, the recovery has been slow. The Labor Department also reported 1,412 mass layoff announcements in May -- the lowest number since April 2008. "Things are obviously better than they were, but they aren't indicative of a strong labor market recovery," said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at MFR.
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