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Today’s Chart: Jobs Are Powering an Uneven Economy

We’ve seen a number of signs of economic softness lately, but the labor market has not been among them. In fact, Thursday’s initial claims for unemployment benefits fell to 253,000 for the week ending April 9, marking its lowest point since 1973.

“Jobs growth has been surprisingly solid given other signs of weakness,” said Bob Hughes, senior research fellow at the American Institute for Economic Research.

Those other signs of weakness include lackluster retail sales and business investment, and a tame Consumer Price Index report yesterday.

“Businesses must at least have a stable outlook, or a slightly favorable outlook,” Hughes said, noting that the initial claims report demonstrates a relatively low level of layoffs. “What seems to be the most solid foundation for the economy is the labor market.”

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