New Jobless Claims Rise More than Expected

WASHINGTON (AP) - First-time claims for jobless benefits rose
more than expected last week, a sign employers are reluctant to
hire and the job market remains weak.

The Labor Department says initial claims for unemployment
insurance rose to a seasonally adjusted 551,000 from 534,000 in the
previous week. Wall Street economists expected an increase of
5,000, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.

The increase comes after three weeks of declines. Weekly claims
have been trending down since the spring, but the decline has been
painfully slow. The four-week average, which smooths out
fluctuations, dropped to 548,000, about 110,000 below its peak in
early April.

The number of people remaining on the rolls fell 70,000 to 6.09
million, the lowest level since the week of April 4.


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