Jobless Claims Increase But Remain Relatively Low

Initial claims for unemployment insurance increased last week to 309,000, some 17,000 higher than the previous week's unexpectedly low total of 292,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Jan. 12.

The department's four-week moving average of initial jobless claims, a better indicator of underlying labor market conditions because it smooths out week-to-week changes, continued to decrease, however. For the week ending Jan. 7, the moving average was 311,500 claims, some 5,500 less than the previous week's average of 317,000.

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