First-time unemployment claims for the week ended June 4 rose by 1,000 to 427,000, the Labor department announced Thursday. This is the ninth consecutive week that claims have been above 400,000. The benchmark for sustainable job growth is considered to be 375,000, the level at which applications had fallen in February. But they reached an eight-month high—478,000—in April, and have remained above 400,000 since. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 424,000, a decrease of 2,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 426,750. The number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending May 28 was 3.67 million, a decrease of 71,000 from the preceding week. The four-week moving average was 3.71 million, a decrease of 29,000 from the preceding week. The unemployment rate for workers with unemployment insurance was 2.9 percent, a 0.1percentage point decrease. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs ending May 14 was 7.6 million, a decrease of 89,233 from the previous week. Some of these people may have found employment, but analysts say that many likely used up their eligible benefits. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 28 were in Illinois, Missouri, New York, Oregon, and Washington. The largest decreases were in California, Massachussetts, New Jersey, Texas, and Wisconsin. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke remarked this week that US economy growth so far this year “looks to be somewhat slower than expected.” This followed reports that employers added 54,000 net new jobs in May and that the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent.