Initial jobless claims inch up

Ben Southwood
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INITIAL jobless claims in the US edged up for the week ending 18 August, according to the seasonally adjusted measure, the Department of Labor said yesterday.

Yet the actual number of initial claims recorded was the lowest in almost five years.

On the headline seasonally adjusted measure, new claims were up 4,000, at 372,000, while total insured unemployment, for the previous week ending 11 August, grew the same amount to 3,317,000.

But the slight upward movement did not challenge the overall downward trend – even on the adjusted measure, claims are 33,000 below a year earlier – suggesting that the recovery is still going on, slowly but steadily.

And the unadjusted measure suggests a more positive picture, giving its lowest reading since 2007.

Also out yesterday was data on personal incomes, which grew 0.3 per cent in July, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, while consumption grew 0.4 per cent – its strongest rise in five months.