Weekly jobless claims down slightly, need to continue improving

Overall the number of people collecting unemployment benefits of any kind increased by 155,000 to 9.66 million in the week ending June 5. 

Economists argue that jobless claims need to drop into the low 400,000s or high 300,000s to reflect stronger job growth in the private sector.

The unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent in May on the creation of more than 400,000 jobs. But most of those jobs were temporary government jobs for the federal Census, not from the private sector. 

Meanwhile, another government report showed that May durable goods orders fell by 1.1 compared with April, when they increased by 3.3 percent. Orders for durable goods excluding transportation rose 0.9 percent in May, the third gain in the past four months, as manufacturing takes the lead in the nation's economic recovery, the Commerce Department said today.