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The number of people claiming new jobless benefits dropped last week, but the still-elevated level reflects a continued weakness in the U.S. labor market.
Initial jobless claims fell by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 409,000 in the week ended Aug. 27, the Labor Department said Thursday. Claims filed in the previous week were revised to 421,000 from an originally reported 417,000.
At 9.1%, unemployment is high, holding the economy to a listless pace two years after the recession ended. The Federal Reserve has cut its projection on economic growth into 2012 and expects joblessness to remain elevated at the end of next year.