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U.S. initial jobless claims continue to rise

(Xinhua)

09:50, December 02, 2011

WASHINGTON, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid increased last week for the second straight week, a sign of limited recovery in the labor market, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.

The Labor Department said that the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits was 402,000 in the week ending Nov. 26, an increase of 6,000 from the previous week's revised figure.

The fresh figure came after it had stayed below 400,000 for three continuous weeks, signaling that the hiring market was recovering at an uneven pace.

Fewer than 425,000 people applying for aid is consistent with modest job growth, but the number of jobless claims will have to fall to 375,000 or below to signal a sustained drop in the unemployment rate.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which helps to smooth out week-to-week volatility, edged up by 500 to 395,750.

The advance figure for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending November 19 was 3.74 million, an increase of 35,000 from one week earlier.

The weekly figures of jobless benefits application reflect the level of layoffs and indicate real-time condition of the American job market.

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