Weekly jobless claims:


Initial jobless claims last week were a bit higher than expected but still reflective of a labor market where employers are loathe to fire workers.

First-time claims for benefits in the week ended April 16 totaled 184,000, a decline of 2,000 from the previous week but just ahead of the Dow Jones estimate for 182,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The numbers indicate the U.S. employment picture remains historically tight as job openings outnumber the available labor pool by about 5 million.

Continuing claims, which run a week behind the headline number, fell by 58,000 to 1.417 million, the lowest level since Feb. 21, 1970.

A separate economic report Thursday showed that…


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