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US jobless claims average rises, but robust economy helps labor market weather trade storm

August 16, 2018

The US four-week moving average of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 215,500 last week, up 1,000 from the previous week’s average, the US Department of Labor reported. The previous week’s average was revised upward by 250.

The four-week moving average smooths the volatility of the week-to-week numbers. Total initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week ended Aug. 11 fell to 212,000, down 2,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised up by 1,000.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 215,000 in the latest week. Economists say a robust economy is helping the labor market weather the trade storm, Reuters reported. Companies are also reporting difficulties finding qualified workers, with the labor market viewed as being near or at full employment.

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