U.S. weekly jobless claims stuck at 420,000

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (BestGrowthStock) – First-time claims for U.S.
jobless benefits were essentially unchanged in the latest week,
cementing a recent downward trend that remains too modest to
bring down unemployment.

Initial claims dipped slightly to 420,000 in the week
ended Dec. 11, matching the median forecast in a Reuters poll
of economists, from a revised 423,000 in the prior week.

However, continuing claims, which exclude the millions of
Americans relying on extended benefits, rose to 4.14 million in
the week ended Dec. 4. That was far higher than the reading of
4.07 million analysts had expected, and the prior week’s figure
was also revised up considerably.

The total number of Americans claiming benefits, including
those relying on a federal emergency program of extended
benefits that has been the subject of heated political debate
in Washington, rose by nearly 900,000 to 9.2 million on a
non-seasonally adjusted basis in the week to Nov. 27.

The further extension of the emergency benefit program is
part of a deal struck between President Barack Obama and
Republicans in Congress.
(Reporting by Pedro Nicolaci da Costa; Editing by Theodore
d’Afflisio)

U.S. weekly jobless claims stuck at 420,000