New jobless claims drop by 3,000 but remain stubbornly high
New jobless claims filed last week fell by 3,000 to 456,000, another sign that unemployment remains stuck stubbornly high.
The four-week moving average of new claims, which smooths out week-to-week volatility, rose by 2,500 to 463,000.
The number of people receiving continuing claims -- a measure of long-term unemployment -- dropped to 4.46 million, the lowest figure since December 2008.
The national unemployment rate is 9.7 percent, down from 9.9 percent the previous month. More than 400,000 new jobs were added to the economy in May, but almost all of those were census workers, a clear sign that the private sector is still too spooked by the economy to start hiring again.
Economists say that meaningful job creation by the private sector cannot occur until the weekly jobless claims number gets down into the low 400,000s or upper 300,000s and stays there.
June 10, 2010; 8:56 AM ET
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