Unemployment Claims Hit Four-Month Peak
A rise in new jobless claims last week put a slight damper on giddy talk of a labor market recovery. But economists looked beyond the raw numbers to find fundamental strengths in the report.
Americans filed 316K new claims for unemployment benefits, 19K more claims than the previous week and a benchmark not seen since last September. Experts polled by Reuters had predicted a decline to 291K claims. Still, the four-week moving average, which is less susceptible to market blips, climbed a modest 6,750 claims, to 298K. Staying under the 300K-claim threshold is considered a sign of a robust job market, and the moving average has remained below it for the past 18 weeks.