U.S. Jobless Claims Edge Up

Although manufacturing layoffs decreased by at least 1,000 people in each of eight states last week, initial claims for unemployment insurance across the U.S. edged up to 319,000 for the week ending August 5, the U.S. Labor Department reported on August 10. That was an increase of 7,000 claims from the previous week's revised figure of 312,000 and 5,000 claims higher than the 314,000 economists generally expected.

However, the Labor Department's four-week moving average for initial claims edged downward last week to 308,750, a decrease of 3,750 claims from the previous week's revised average of 312,500. The moving average is generally considered a better indicator of underlying labor market conditions because it smooths out week-to-week changes.

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