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Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits edged up while remaining at historically low levels, another indication that the labor market remains generally robust.
Jobless claims rose by 8,000 to 215,000 in the week ended July 27, according to Labor Department figures released Aug. 1 that slightly exceeded the median estimate in Bloomberg’s survey of economists. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure, declined to a three-month low of 211,500.
Those readings reinforce Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s comments July 31 that the labor market remains strong. He also said policy makers expect job growth to be slower than last year but still sufficient to hold the unemployment rate steady.
The claims report comes just before the Labor Department’s payrolls report Aug. 2, which is forecast to show job gains moderated to a still-solid 165,000 in July as the unemployment rate slipped to match a half-century low of 3.6%.