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U.S. Jobless Claims Climb More Than Expected To 239,000


First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by more than expected in the week ended November 4th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims climbed to 239,000, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week's unrevised level of 229,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge up to 231,000.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average fell to 231,250, a decrease of 1,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 232,500.

The modest drop pulled the four-week moving average down to its lowest level since hitting 227,750 in March of 1973.

The Labor Department said claims taking procedures continue to be severely disrupted in the Virgin Islands, while the ability to take claims has improved in Puerto Rico and they are now processing backlogged claims.

The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, rose by 17,000 to 1.901 million in the week ended October 28th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims still edged down to a more than forty-year low of 1,895,250, a decrease of 750 from the previous week's revised average of 1,896,000.

Last Friday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing weaker than expected job growth in the month of October.

The report said non-farm payroll employment climbed by 261,000 jobs in October after edging up by a revised 18,000 jobs in September.

Economists had expected employment to jump by 312,000 jobs compared to the decrease of 33,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

The unemployment rate dipped to 4.1 percent in October from 4.2 percent in September, while economists had expected the rate to hold steady.

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