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Another 2.12 million Americans file initial jobless claims; gold remains higher

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Editor’s note: Updating earlier story to include more details from report.

(Kitco News) - Another 2.12 million Americans filed for first-time U.S. jobless claims in the week to Saturday, the Labor Department said Thursday.

In the wake of the data, spot gold held onto most of its early gains, trading up $11.40 to $1,721.10 an ounce as of 8:46 a.m. EDT.

Consensus estimates of economists called for initial jobless claims to be around 2.1 million to 2.12 million. The previous week’s 2.44 million claims were revised to 2.45 million.

Americans have now filed a total of 40.77 million initial claims since the week of March 21.

New weekly claims have been above 2 million every week since March 21 after the previous all-time high had been 695,000 back in October 1982, according to Labor Department figures. Traders have been closely monitoring jobless claims as a key gauge of the weakness in the economy due to lockdowns and social-distancing measures across the country to combat the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many businesses temporarily closing their doors. States are now gradually reopening their economies.

The four-week moving average for new claims – normally viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it smooths out week-to-week volatility – fell by 436,000 to 2.61 million.

Continuing jobless claims, which counts the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, decreased by 3.86 million to a seasonally adjusted 21.05 million during the week ending May 16, the government said.

The report came out at the same time as another big decline in durable-goods orders and a decline in gross domestic product.

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