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Weekly Jobless Claims Rise, As Do Hopes That Spring Will Bring Better News

There were 339,000 first-time claims filed last week for unemployment benefits, up 8,000 from the week before, according to the Employment and Training Administration.

So this week's takeaway would seem to be a lot like last week's and several before that.

It's yet another report showing that claims remain in a range where they've been running since late 2011. And as we've said before:

When the economy is expanding and even when payrolls are growing, there are people being laid off who file jobless claims. But the stubbornly slow growth in employment in recent years has been underscored by the fact that there hasn't been a string of weeks below the 300,000-level since early 2006.

Bloomberg News writes that:

"Claims have been very choppy over the last several weeks," Ryan Sweet, senior economist at Moody's Analytics Inc. in West Chester, Pa., said before the report. "Once businesses recognize that this soft patch is only temporary, I think we'll start to see much stronger employment numbers as the economy begins to thaw from winter."

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