(RTTNews) - 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 August 24th.
The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 215,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level of 211,000.
Economists had expected jobless claims to climb to 215,000 from the 209,000 originally reported for the previous week.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average edged down to 214,500, a decrease of 500 from the previous week's revised average of 215,000.
The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, rose by 22,000 to 1.698 million in the week ended August 17th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims still slipped to 1,697,250, a decrease of 250 from the previous week's revised average of 1,697,500.
Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report for August.