Jobless Claims Rise, As Expected

The U.S. Labor Department reported on July 13 that initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 19,000 last week to 332,000.

The increase was the product, suggests Merrill Lynch & Co., of retooling shutdowns in the auto industry, a government shutdown in New Jersey, and the July 4 holiday. Merrill's forecast of 327,000 initial claims in the week ending July 8 was 5,000 lower than the actual figure, however.

The Labor Department's four-week moving average of initial unemployment insurance claims also increased last week, rising by 8,750 to 317,250.

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