US jobless claims rise by 12,000

Washington, July 31 (IANS/EFE) New claims for unemployment benefits in the United States increased by 12,000 last week to 267,000.

This was revealed by the Labor Department on Thursday.

Economists had expected an increase after claims dipped the previous week to 255,000, the lowest figure since 1973.

The rolling four-week average of initial jobless claims, seen as a more reliable measure of labour market trends, fell by 3,750 last week to 274,750.

The four-week average has remained around or below 300,000 since last September, reflecting a recovery in the labour market and growing business confidence.

Continuing jobless claims increased by 46,000 to 2.26 million in the week ending July 18.

The official unemployment rate dropped two-tenths of a point in June to 5.3 percent, the lowest level in seven years, as the economy added 223,000 new jobs.

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