Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. fell less-than-expected last week, 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 February 3 fell by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 366,000, compared to expectations for a decline of 11,000 to 360,000.
Jobless claims for the preceding week were revised up to 371,000 from a previously reported gain of 368,000.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended January 27 rose to 3.224 million. Analysts had expected continuing claims to fall to 3.195 million from last week's revised figure of 3.216 million.
The four-week moving average was 350,500, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 352,750.
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 remained lower against the euro, with EUR/USD adding 0.17% to trade at 1.3544.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were little changed, S&P 500 futures were flat, while the Nasdaq 100 futures signaled a flat open as well.
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