Weekly Jobless Claims Up In The U.S.

By Agence France-Presse U.S. weekly jobless claims rose 16,000 in the past week to 333,000, the Labor Department reported Sept. 16. The number of claims in the week to Sept. 11 remained below the average Wall Street estimate of 343,000 and suggests modest growth in the U.S. job market. Claims in the week ended Sept. 4 were revised to a decrease of 43,000 to 317,000, compared with the initial estimate of a fall of 44,000 to 319,000. A Labor Department official said there was no clear impact on claims this week from the two hurricanes that hit Florida in the past month. But the official noted that there were problems adjusting the data for seasonal factors, and therefore the four-week moving average was a better gauge of the strength of the labor market. The four-week average of initial claims, which smoothes out distortions caused by weather and holidays, held steady at 338,000 in the week ended Sept. 11. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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