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US Jobless Claims Remain Low

Washington, The number of people filing initial applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week but remained near a 49-year low, the government reported Thursday, indicating the labor market continues to be strong.

The Labor Department said jobless claims increased 7,000 to 214,000 last week. Economists had expected claims to decline slightly to 206,000. Claims in North and South Carolina were affected by Hurricane Florence, which hit the region in mid-September.

The four-week moving average of jobless claims�a better gauge of labor-market trends because it smoothes weekly volatility�rose 2,500 to 209,500 last week. The labor market is considered to be at or near full employment.

Source: Saudi Press Agency