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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Show Slight Uptick

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A day ahead of the release of the more closely watched monthly jobs report, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a slight uptick in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended August 31st.

The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 217,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised level of 216,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to come in unchanged compared to the 215,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also crept up to 216,250, an increase of 1,500 from the previous week's revised average of 214,750.

Meanwhile, the report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 39,000 to 1.662 million in the week ended August 24th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dipped to 1,691,750, a decrease of 6,250 from the previous week's revised average of 1,698,000.

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched monthly employment report for August.

Employment is expected to increase by 158,000 jobs in August after climbing by 164,000 jobs in July, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.7 percent.

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