In news that reflects the weakening pulse of the economy, the Labor Department reported that initial claims for jobless benefits rose last week to a seasonally adjusted level of half a million, the highest since last November. –JCL

The New York Times:

The Department of Labor said in its weekly report that the seasonally adjusted jobless claims climbed by 12,000 to 500,000 from the previous week’s revised 488,000.

Wall Street analysts had expected the seasonally adjusted claims to drop.

“The whole lack of improvement and further rise in claims coincides with the concerns about production and growth in the economy,” Steven C. Wieting, the economist for Citi, said.

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