The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday first-time claims for jobless benefits fell by 3,000 in the week ending Dec. 11.
The four-week rolling average of initial unemployment benefit claims fell by 5,250 to 422,750.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate jumped from 9.6 percent to 9.8 percent in November as an increase in jobs failed to match the increased size of the workforce.
The Labor Department said the biggest increases in claims for the week ending Dec. 4 were reported by New York with 16,863 additional claims, North Carolina, which added 15,276, and Pennsylvania, which added 15,174.
For the week ending Dec. 4, the biggest decrease was reported by Iowa with a decline of 2,146, followed by Idaho with a decline of 1,169 and Puerto Rico with a decline of 609.
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