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Jobless Claims Rise Clouds Recovery Picture

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Jobless claims rose more than forecast for the week ended Dec. 7 as the U.S. labor outlook dampened for the first time in a month. The increase in claims comes a week after economists were heartened by a spate of hiring in November that pushed the country's unemployment rate to a five-year low at 7%.

The Labor Department reported that claims rose 68,000 to 368,000, which was much higher than economists' expectation of 320,000, according to a survey by Bloomberg data.

Weekly jobless claims for the prior week came in lower than anticipated, which followed a private payroll report that said employers were adding employees at a faster rate than expected. To bolster those reports, the government said the country added 203,000 jobs for November in what many economists called one of the strongest labor reports since the 2008 financial crisis.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

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