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UPDATE 1-W.House sees signs unemployment may "tick upward"

(Adds Gibbs quote, background)

WASHINGTON, Dec 3 (Reuters) - The White House has seen evidence that the U.S. November unemployment rate might creep upward from October’s level of 10.2 percent, spokesman Robert Gibbs said on Thursday.

Gibbs told reporters that he did not know what the November payrolls data, to be released on Friday, would show.

But citing a recent data signal on payroll perfomance, he said that the White House would not be surprised if it rose from the previous month’s 10.2 percent reading.

“One payroll estimate came out ... yesterday and it seemed to suggest that it might tick upward,” Gibbs told reporters.

“What we have always said, we’re going to have to get to a level of continuing to make progress in seeing a decrease in the number of those who are unemployed each month, in order to see either stability in the jobless rate, or have to have that jobless rate tick down,” Gibbs said.

The closely watched monthly U.S. payroll report will be released at 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT) on Friday. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the unemployment rate to be unchanged at 10.2 percent.

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, editing by Vicki Allen Washington newsroom, 202-898-8300