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US jobs recovery isn't here yet

New claims for unemployment benefits remain elevated in the US.

April us unemployment 8.1 percent job growth slowEnlarge
Job seekers line-up to give their resumes to a representative of an employment agency at a job fair at a Holiday Inn on April 18, 2012. (Spencer Platt/AFP/Getty Images)

A closely tracked number monitoring American claims for new jobless benefits rose to its highest level this year last week, according to the latest data from the US government

The four-week moving average for new unemployment claims rose to 386,250 — the highest its been since December, the US Labor Department said. Meanwhile, new claims for jobless benefits last week crept downward by 2,000 to 387,000. 

"This confirms the weak labor market we have," Wells Fargo Securities economist Sam Bullard told Reuters. He is preparing for another lackluster jobs report when the US reports June job growth figures next month.

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Last week's jobless claims number includes a government data revision. Accounting for that, jobless claims this week were 1,000 higher than the government's initial estimate for last week.

“After a fairly substantial period of constantly lower jobless claims, a new, more unwelcome trend higher has taken hold,” BTIG Economics said in comments published by the Wall Street Journal

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Job growth in the US was dismal last month, and the Wall Street Journal is betting this month's numbers will be pretty bad, too. 

From the WSJ:

"Right now you can start prepping for a bad June jobs report. Another thing to think about: this week’s number, 387,000, is only marginally better than the 424,000 claims filed this week a year ago."