Initial jobless claims rise, but continuing claims plunge

Just call it a mixed-progress week on the employment front. Initial jobless claims rose 17,000 to 474,000 for the week ending Dec. 5, but continuing claims plunged another 303,000 to 5.16 million, the U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday.

A Bloomberg News economists survey had expected initial jobless claims to total 460,000. The four-week moving average for initial jobless claims fell 7,750 to 473,750. A year ago, initial jobless claims totaled 552,000 and continuing claims totaled 4.35 million.