Jobless Claims Rise in Latest Week

Requests for unemployment benefits edged up last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday, though longer-term data paint a brighter picture of overall labor market conditions. Weekly jobless claims rose to 381,000 in the week ending Dec. 24, from 366,000 the week before. The four-week moving average, however—which is considered a better gauge of employment trends—continues to fall and analysts expect more jobs to be added throughout 2012. Last week was also the fourth consecutive week jobless claims remained below the critical 400,000 threshold, signaling that the unemployment rate will shrink.

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