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Jobless Claims in U.S. Rise to Four-Week High

  • Claims rose by 14,000 to 257,000; forecast was for 245,000
  • Prior week’s reading was revised to 243,000 from 244,000

Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose to a four-week high last week, interrupting a run of subdued firings, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.

Key Points

  • Jobless claims increased by 14,000 to 257,000 (forecast was 245,000) in the week ended April 22
  • Number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 10,000 to 1.99 million in the week ended April 15 (these data reported with one-week lag)
  • Four-week average of claims, a less volatile measure than weekly data, was little changed at 242,250 from 242,750

Big Picture

Even with the increase, unemployment filings remain at a relatively low level and are on par with the 1970s, with employers more focused on adding and retaining workers than on firing them in a tight job market. An unusually late Easter holiday this year might have affected the data in recent weeks.

Other Details

  • Prior week’s reading was revised to 243,000 from 244,000
  • Unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits remained at 1.4 percent
  • Louisiana was the only state with estimated claims last week
  • There was nothing unusual in the broader data, according to the Labor Department
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