US jobless claims rose 7,000 last week

WASHINGTON - The number of US workers filing new claims for jobless benefits rose by a larger-than-expected 7,000 last week but remained at a level suggesting stable labour market conditions, a government report on Thursday showed.

By (Reuters)

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Published: Thu 21 Sep 2006, 9:26 PM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 1:20 PM

First-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 318,000 in the week ended Sept. 16, after an upwardly revised 311,000 in the prior week, the Labour Department said.

“The level is consistent with solid employment gains, indicating firms are inclined to take on new workers as they are seeing continued strong demand for their products,” said Paul Ferley, assistant chief economist for BMO Financial Group in Toronto.

Economists surveyed by Reuters were expecting claims to inch up to 310,000 from the original reading of 308,000 in the Sept. 9 week.

US Treasury debt prices remained little changed after the reading of weekly initial jobless claims that was broadly in line with forecasts.

The dollar dropped across the board after the Federal Reserve on Wednesday opted to keep interest rates on hold for a second straight policy meeting and suggested inflation risks were moderating.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of jobless claims, which is considered a more accurate measurement of employment trends because it irons out weekly volatility, remained unchanged at 315,000 in the week ended Sept. 16.

New claims have held steady in this range for nearly a year after a surge to levels above 400,000 when a burst of US workers sought unemployment aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last September.

The number of workers remaining on unemployment benefits fell 29,000 to 2.46 million in the week ended Sept. 9, the latest period the data were available, the Labour Department said. It was the lowest level in nearly two months.

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