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Jobless Claims in U.S. Unexpectedly Rise to Two-Month High

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased to a two-month high last week. Swings in jobless applications are typical in July as auto plants close for annual retooling.

First-time claims rose by 16,000 to 360,000 in the week ended July 6 from a revised 344,000, Labor Department figures showed today in Washington. The median forecast of 47 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a drop to 340,000. Claims are difficult to adjust in July for seasonal events such as vehicle plant shutdowns and the Independence Day holiday, a Labor Department spokesman said as the data were released.