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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Show Another Modest Increase

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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 modest increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the week ended September 28th.

The report said initial jobless claims rose to 219,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level of 215,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 215,000 from the 213,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Jobless claims edged higher for the third straight week after dropping to 206,000 in the week ended September 7th, when claims were at their lowest level since hitting a nearly 50-year low of 193,000 in April.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average was unchanged from the previous week's revised average at 215,000.

The report also said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 5,000 to 1.651 million in the week ended September 21st.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dropped to 1,661,500, a decrease of 5,750 from the previous week's revised average of 1,667,250.

On Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of September.

Employment is expected to increase by 145,000 jobs in September after rising by 130,000 jobs in August, while the unemployment rate is expected to hold at 3.7 percent.

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