U.S. initial jobless claims rise by 23,000 to 302,000 last week

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Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose more than expected, dampening optimism over the strength of the labor market, official data showed on Thursday.

In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending July 26 increased by 23,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000 from the previous week's total of 279,000, which was the lowest since May 2000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 22,000 to 301,000 last week.


Continuing jobless claims in the week ended July 19 rose to 2.539 million from 2.508 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to fall to 2.495 million.

The four-week moving average was 297,250, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week's total of 300,750. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.

Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.18% to trade at 1.3373.

Meanwhile, U.S. equity markets pointed to a lower open. The Dow indicated a loss of 0.5%, the S&P 500 pointed to a decline of 0.5%, while the Nasdaq 100 indicated a drop of 0.6%.

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This article appears in: Investing , Forex and Currencies

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