Daily Economic Indicator: Jobs data continue to improve

12/30/2011 | Washington Post (tiered subscription model), The

Though the number of Americans filing for jobless benefits increased last week, broader trends point to an increase in hiring that could gain steam in 2012. The four-week average for unemployment claims is at the lowest level since June 2008. "Despite the rise in the weekly claims data, the longer-term trend ... suggests that the recovery in the labor market is maintaining its momentum," said Michael Gapen, an economist at Barclays Capital.

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