A day ahead of the release of the more closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits edged slightly higher in the week ended July 28th.
The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 218,000, an uptick of 1,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 217,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to rise to 220,000.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average dipped to 214,500, a decrease of 3,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 218,000.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also fell by 23,000 to 1.724 million in the week ended July 21st.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also slipped to 1,741,750, a decrease of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,746,250.
On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of July.
Employment is expected to increase by 190,000 jobs in July after jumping by 213,000 jobs in June, while the unemployment rate is expected to dip to 3.9 percent after rising to 4.0 percent in the previous month.