Weekly first time claims for unemployment benefits ticked down by 2,000 in the last week, but the the four-week rolling average, which evens out some of the sharp swings in the weekly numbers, is now at its highest level since the start of December 2011.
The number of first time claims filed in the week ending June 16th was 387,000. The four-week average for first time jobless claims now sits at 386,750. The numbers do little to ease concerns that the labor market and the economy may be softening.
In the last two months, job creation has fallen below the 100,000 mark while national unemployment continues to run about 8 percent. The so-called "underemployed" rate is put as high as 18 percent.