US jobless claims edge upwards

New US jobless claims rose to 409,000 last week, up 18,000 on an upwardly adjusted figure of 391,000. However, the underlying trend in unemployment remains downward, as the four week moving average fell 410,750, the lowest level recorded since late July 2008. The decline comes on the back of a surge in private sector jobs announced in Wednesday’s ADP employment figures. Official nonfarm payrolls data for December is released lunchtime today.