New applications for jobless benefits dipped in the latest week but remained at levels that were too high to put a dent in the unemployment rate.
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The Labor Department said on Thursday new jobless claims fell to 414,000 in the week ended June 11 from an upwardly revised 430,000 in the prior week.
Economists polled by Reuters had been looking for a smaller decline to 420,000. Claims have been above 400,000 for two months now, reflecting a rough patch in the recovery that has led to renewed weakness in an already anemic job market.