Labor Department: 472,000 Claims For Unemployment Insurance Filed Last Week : The Two-Way The number of people who filed for unemployment insurance dropped by 6,000 last week, but the number remains high.
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Labor Department: 472,000 Claims For Unemployment Insurance Filed Last Week

On Sept. 1,  job seekers looked for work on a bank of computers at Workforce One in Hollywood, Fla.  Lynne Sladky/Associated Press hide caption

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Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

This week, the U.S. Department of Labor released its report on last week's unemployment insurance claims. New jobless claims fell 6,000.

According to Reuters, the number of new claims — 472,000 — is "still too high to signal a change in fortune for the troubled labor market."

The weak labor market threatens to derail the economy's recovery from the most painful recession since the Great Depression. Growth is losing steam as the boost from a $814 billion government stimulus package and the rebuilding of inventories by businesses fade.

Bloomberg explains what may be happening: "Employment is stagnating as businesses, uncertain sales will hold up, delay adding workers."

Federal Reserve policy makers, who cut growth forecasts for the second half of 2010, indicated they were concerned lingering unemployment and “elevated” claims were limiting consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy.