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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Edge Slightly Higher

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First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits edged slightly higher in the week ended December 3rd, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims crept up to 230,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week's revised level of 226,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to inch up to 230,000 from the 225,000 originally reported for the previous week.

The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average also ticked up to 230,000, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week's revised average of 229,000.

Continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also climbed by 62,000 to 1.671 million in the week ended November 26th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims also rose to 1,582,250, an increase of 43,250 from the previous week's revised average of 1,539,000.

Last Friday, a separate report released by the Labor Department showed employment in the U.S. increased by more than expected in the month of November.

The report said non-farm payroll employment jumped by 263,000 jobs in November after surging by an upwardly revised 284,000 jobs in October.

Economists had expected employment to shoot up by 200,000 jobs compared to the addition of 261,000 jobs originally reported for the previous month.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent in November, unchanged from October and in line with economist estimates.

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