Jobless Claims Rise

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 318,000 last week, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 311,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Sept. 21.

The increase was a couple thousand more than the 316,000 first-time claims that economists at Merrill Lynch & Co., New York, expected, but within the 308,000 to 318,000 range of the past several weeks.

The department's four-week moving average for initial unemployment insurance claims was unchanged at 315,000.

The data, which last week showed fewer layoffs in manufacturing, suggest that companies simply aren't doing much hiring.

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