Continuing unemployment claims remain high - a negative for U.S. economy

Borrowing a phrase from the Fab Four, it was a hard day's night for the dedicated statisticians at the U.S. Labor Department in our nation's capital. While initial jobless claims dipped, continuing claims remained at an alarming level.

Initial jobless claims fell 31,000 to 639,000 for the week ending February 28, the Labor Department announced Thursday, below the 650,000 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected.