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Labor market improvement slowed this week with jobless claims showing a slowdown in labor market improvement. Seasonally adjusted claims rose 31,000 week over week to 313,000, exceeding consensus (290K) by 23,000.  

The labor market in energy states continues to deteriorate relative to the rest of the country.  Even as oil prices have bounced modestly off their recent $45 lows, their sustained low level inflicts pain on energy-heavy states. 

Check out the chart below.

(Click to enlarge.)

A Picture Is Worth 1,000 Jobs (A Quick Look At U.S. Energy States' Labor Market Deterioration) - keithchart