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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Rise To 218,000

First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended May 14th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report showed initial jobless claims rose to 218,000, an increase of 21,000 from the previous week's revised level of 197,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 200,000 from the 203,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also climbed to 199,500, an increase of 8,250 from the previous week's revised average of 191,250.

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