MSNBC.COM - New claims for unemployment benefits dropped in the latest week, although they remain stuck at levels that show the job market remains soft.
The Labor Department reported Thursday that seasonally adjusted jobless claims slid 6,000 to 386,000. The four-week moving average, which smooths out wrinkles in the data, dropped 750 to 386,750.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims easing to 385,000 last week. The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends, slipped 750 to 386,750.
The labor market has lost a step in recent months as uncertainty
spawned by the debt crisis in Europe and an unclear fiscal policy path
at home has made businesses
reluctant to hire. However, there are no signs in the claims data that
companies are responding to that uncertainty by laying off workers. click here to read more