Jobless Claims in States Rise as Expected

Applications for unemployment benefits south of the border increased moderately last week, pointing to still strong labour market conditions despite signs that economic activity was slowing.

Figures released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 8,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 216,000 for the week ended July 13, putting them in the middle of their 193,000-230,000 range for this year.

Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 fewer applications received than previously reported. Last week’s increase in claims was in line with economists’ expectations.

The four-week moving average of initial claims, which is considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, dipped 250 to 218,750 last week.