• New state unemployment benefit claims rose by 12,000 last week to 218,000, according to the Labor Department. A Reuters poll showed economists expected an increase to 210,000 initial claims for the week ended Dec. 23.
  • The rolls of those receiving benefits after one week of aid rose 14,000 from the week prior, reaching 1.875 million. Continued unemployment claims, a measure for hiring, have increased since mid-September, indicating those already out of work may be having difficulties getting a job.