Shannon Bond
FT.com
April 21, 2011

The number of people claiming unemployment benefit stayed above 400,000 for the second week in a row, according to the latest US labour department figures.

First-time claims for jobless benefits did fall by 13,000 to 403,000 in the week ending April 13, down from from an upwardly revised 416,000 the week before. However the reduction was smaller than economists had predicted and kept claims above the closely-watched 400,000 level, following the previous week’s surprise rise to the highest level in nearly two months. The less-volatile four-week moving average rose slightly to 399,000.

“We’ve now seen two straight weeks above 400,000,” said Conrad DeQuadros of RDQ Economics, but he argued that that the longer term trend was a better measure of the state of the labour market than the volatile weekly figures.

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