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Financial News: U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Edge Down To 210,000

U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Edge Down To 210,000

03/21/2024 - 09:30:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday unexpectedly showed a slight drop by first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended March 16th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims edged down to 210,000, a decrease of 2,000 from the previous week's revised level of 212,000.

The dip surprised economists, who had expected jobless claims to rise to 215,000 from the 209,000 originally reported for the previous week.

"While we expect job growth to moderate from the strong January-February pace, initial claims remain well below levels that would signal a severe slowdown in job creation," said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

"The Fed doesn't require to a significant weakening in the labor market to begin cutting interest rates," she added. "Rather it needs to be confident the job market is balanced enough to support a continued slowing in wage growth."

Meanwhile, the report said the less volatile four-week moving average crept up to 211,250, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week's revised average of 208,750.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also rose by 4,000 to 1.807 million in the week ended March 9th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also climbed to 1,802,250, an increase of 5,000 from the previous week's revised average of 1,797,250.

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