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Unemployment claims rise sharply last week

WASHINGTON – After initial claims for unemployment surprisingly plunged to a 4 1/2-year low, they jumped sharply back up again last week to a two-month high, highlighting the volatility of the data and continued sluggish job growth.

There were 388,000 first-time jobless claims for the week ending Saturday, an increase of 46,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 342,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

A figure of about 350,000 is consistent with strong job growth.

Analysts said the drop in jobless claims for the week ending Oct. 6 was a statistical anomaly driven by those quarterly fluctuations and that the numbers would quickly increase again.

Newsweek to end print edition Dec. 31

LOS ANGELES – Newsweek will print its final paper edition at the end of this year.

After nearly 80 years of publication, the news magazine will shift to a digital-only format, available online and on tablet computers, editor-in-chief Tina Brown said on the magazine’s website Thursday morning. Its last will be the Dec. 31 issue.

“We are transitioning Newsweek, not saying goodbye to it,” Brown said. “We remain committed to Newsweek and to the journalism that it represents. This decision is not about the quality of the brand or the journalism – that is as powerful as ever. It is about the challenging economics of print publishing and distribution.”

The digital-only publication, supported by paid subscriptions and dubbed Newsweek Global, will be aimed at a “highly mobile, opinion-leading audience who want to learn about world events in a sophisticated context,” Brown said.

China’s growth slowest since 2009

BEIJING – China grew at its slowest pace in 3 1/2 years, the latest sign that the nation long famed for its economic miracle is still struggling to pull out of a steeper-than-expected slide.

The Chinese economy expanded 7.4 percent in the three months ended in September compared with the same period a year ago. That’s a tick below the full-year growth target of 7.5 percent and the lowest quarterly performance since the country grew 6.6 percent in the first three months of 2009.

By comparison, China grew 7.6 percent in the second quarter and 8.1 percent in the first quarter. Chinese growth has now weakened for seven consecutive quarters.


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