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U.S. weekly jobless claims rebound from near 45-year lows

Reuters 

The number of Americans filing for benefits rebounded from a near 45-year low last week, but remained below a level that is associated with a tightening market.

Initial claims for state benefits increased 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 230,000 for the week ended Feb. 10, the Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 2,000 more applications received than previously reported.

Claims fell to 216,000 in mid-January, which was the lowest level since January 1973. Economists polled by had forecast claims rising to 230,000 in the latest week.

Last week marked the 154th straight week that claims remained below the 300,000 threshold, which is associated with a strong market. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the market was much smaller.

The market is near full employment, with the jobless rate at a 17-year low of 4.1 percent. The tighter market is starting to exert upward pressure on wage growth, which will over time add to inflation pressures.

The Department said claims for were estimated last week. It also said claims-taking procedures in and the Virgin Islands had still not returned to normal, months after the territories were slammed by Hurricanes Irma and Maria.

Last week, the four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose 3,500 to 228,500.

The claims report also showed the number of people receiving benefits after an initial week of aid increased 15,000 to 1.94 million in the week ended Feb. 3. The four-week moving average of the so-called continuing claims fell 5,750 to 1.94 million.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 15 2018. 19:08 IST
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