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Financial News: U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Dip To 201,000

U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Dip To 201,000

02/22/2024 - 09:31:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed an unexpected dip in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended February 17th.

The Labor Department said initial jobless claims fell to 201,000, a decrease of 12,000 from the previous week's revised level of 213,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 218,000 from the 213,000 originally reported for the previous week.

"We may see some increase in jobless claims as labor market conditions loosen a bit further, but we expect claims will remain below the roughly 260,000 level, which would be consistent with no net job growth," said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.

The report said the less volatile four-week moving average also edged down to 215,250, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week's revised average of 218,750.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also slid by 27,000 to 1.862 million in the week ended February 10.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims still rose by 8,500 to 1,877,500, reaching the highest level since hitting 1,888,250 in the week ended December 11, 2021.

"The upward drift in continued claims is consistent with other indicators - such as a rise in the share of unemployed out of work for more than 26 weeks - showing unemployed individuals are finding it more difficult to find new jobs," said Vanden Houten.

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