Worries over US economy as jobless claims increase again

Tim Wallace
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THE NUMBER of new jobless benefit claimants in the US increased unexpectedly last week, official data showed yesterday, indicating the economic recovery might not be running as smoothly as economists had hoped.

A total of 315,000 made initial claims for benefits, up 11,000 on the week.

And the previous week’s jobless claims figure was revised upwards by 2,000 to 304,000.

The four-week moving average, a measure designed to smooth out weekly volatility, edged up by 750 to 304,000.

The increase runs counter to economists’ expectations of a modest fall, as the economic recovery appears to gather pace on other indicators.

One remaining positive sign came from the overall drop in total claimants, despite the rise in newly unemployed workers being added to the group.

A total of 2.37m were claiming benefits in the week ending 23 August, down 81,090 on the week and 4.27m fewer than the same week of 2013.

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