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U.S. Jobless Claims Unexpectedly Inch Up To 222,000

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First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly showed a modest increase in the week ended June 8th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 222,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week's revised level of 219,000.

The uptick came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 216,000 from the 218,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also crept up to 217,750, an increase of 2,500 from the previous week's revised average of 215,250.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also edged up by 2,000 to 1.695 million in the week ended June 1st.

The four-moving average of continuing claims climbed to 1,683,250, an increase of 7,750 from the previous week's revised average of 1,675,500.

Last Friday, the Labor Department released a separate report showing a substantial slowdown in the pace of job growth in the month of May.

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