Shobhana Chandra
June 10, 2010

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More Americans than anticipated filed applications for unemployment benefits last week, a sign firings remain elevated even as the economy is expanding.

Initial jobless claims dropped by 3,000 to 456,000 in the week ended June 5, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected 450,000 claims, according to the median forecast. The number of people receiving unemployment insurance fell to the lowest level since 2008, while those getting extended payments climbed.

While payrolls rose for a fifth month in May, hiring by companies was less than forecast, underscoring Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s comments yesterday that there will be “only a slow reduction” in the unemployment rate. Job gains are needed to spur consumer spending, which accounts for 70 percent of the economy, and ensure a sustained expansion.

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