First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits showed a modest increase in the week ended August 25th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.
The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 213,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s unrevised level of 210,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge up to 214,000.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average slipped to 212,250, a decrease of 1,500 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 213,750.
The modest decrease pulled the four-week moving average down to its lowest level since hitting 210,750 in December of 1969.
Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also fell by 20,000 to 1.708 million in the week ended August 18th.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims dipped to 1,731,250, a decrease of 4,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 1,735,750.
Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report for August.