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The EU proposed Thursday that member states resume returning asylum seekers to Greece from March next year, after transfers were suspended for five years because of poor conditions there. The European Commission, the EU executive, said Athens had now partly improved conditions in line with 2011 court rulings that had suspended the transfers and encouraged the flow of refugees and migrants to wealthier EU countries. "We are recommending the gradual resumption of Dublin transfers of asylum seekers starting next year," EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos told a press conference, with aides saying the date is March 15.
New claims for unemployment insurance fell at the start of December following two consecutive weeks of increases, the US Labor Department reported Thursday. The figures can be volatile, but the decline pointed to continued health in the labor market following the surprise drop in the November unemployment rate to 4.6 percent, its lowest level in nine years. In the week ending December 3, new claims for unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 to 258,000, slightly higher than an analyst consensus forecast which called for 255,000 claims.