Jobless claims inch up

Zachary Roth
September 8, 2011

The number of Americans filing first-time claims for jobless benefits rose slightly last week, to 414,000, from 412,00 the previous week, the Labor Department said.

The figure has hovered around 400,000 for months now. At that level, it's all but impossible for the overall unemployment rate, currently at 9.1 percent, to decline significantly.

President Obama is set to give a major speech before Congress Thursday night laying out ideas to fix the struggling economy and create jobs.