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Jobless Claims Nearly Unchanged

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits last week was basically the same as the week before, the Employment and Training Administration just reported.

It says 404,000 such claims were submitted, vs. 405,000 the week before (a number that was revised up slightly from the previous estimate of 401,000).

As we wrote last week:

"Weekly claims peaked at 659,000 in March 2009 — when the economy was technically still in recession. They gradually slid to a low of 375,000 in February of this year. But since then they've generally stayed above the 400,000-mark — a level that economists say is another sign of an ailing labor market that isn't producing enough jobs to bring down the nation's unemployment rate."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.