No improvement in US weekly jobless claims

New claims for US jobless benefits ran at 414,000 last week, little changed from the previous week as high unemployment continues to dog the US economy, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The number of people making initial claims for unemployment insurance in the week to September 3 rose 2,000 from the revised figure of the previous week, and remained in the general range of the past eight months.

The number of people in the country receiving unemployment benefits was 7.17 million, 167,000 less than the previous week and slightly over half the official total number of jobless Americans.

The official unemployment rate for the country is a high 9.1 percent.