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Labor-Market Worries Rise With Jobless Claims

Wall Street Journal (04/13/12) Conor Dougherty

Last week’s rise in new claims for unemployment benefits—in combination with other weak reports on hiring, automobile sales, and small-business sentiment—has observers concerned that the labor market may be softening. The various reports suggest that strong job growth data reported earlier in the year were partially due to an unusually warm winter, which can boost employment for construction and other seasonal work. More troubling is that the data indicating strong early-year job growth followed by weaker spring growth is similar to a pattern seen in 2011.