New Claims for Unemployment Benefits Nearly Flat

Four-week moving average shows slight rising trend.

New claims for unemployment benefits in the United States were nearly flat at 387,000 last week, showing little change from recent poor data, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

The figures indicated the pace of layoffs across the country has been on the upswing, coming in 2,000 below the previous week's, with the four-week moving average showing a slight rising trend.

The halt to improvement in the jobless claims gains over the past several weeks parallels a slowdown in job creation, freezing the country's overall unemployment rate at just above the 8% level.

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday slashed its estimate for the economy's growth this year by a half point, and projected unemployment would be higher than it thought just two months ago.

The Fed projected gross domestic product would grow a maximum of 2.4% by the end of the year, and the jobless rate would rise to as high as 8.2%.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012

See Also:

Federal Reserve Unleashes Additional Economic Stimulus

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