The number of people filing for first time unemployment benefits increased by 6,000 in the latest week, according to the weekly report released by the Labor Department. Claims rose to 371,000 in the week ending May 10. Economists had been expecting 370,000 in new claims.
Having witnessed extremely volatile measurements in the past seven weeks, it is wise to consider the four-week moving average of initial claims, which smooths out one-time factors such as bad weather or holidays. The four-week moving average was lower by 1,000 in the latest week, down to 365,750.
Initial claims are up 23% in the past year.
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