(RTTNews) - With the more closely watched monthly jobs report looming, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended October 26th.
The report said initial jobless claims rose to 218,000, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's revised level of 213,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000 from the 212,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average edged down to 214,750, a decrease of 500 from the previous week's revised average of 215,250.
The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, crept up by 7,000 to 1.690 million in the week ended October 19th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also rose to 1,686,250, an increase of 8,750 from the previous week's revised average of 1,677,500.
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of October.
Employment is expected to rise by 89,000 jobs in October after climbing by 136,000 jobs in September, while the unemployment rate is expected to inch up to 3.6 percent from 3.5 percent.