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U.S. weekly jobless claims disappoints markets for fourth consecutive week

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(Kitco News) - The U.S. labor market continues to struggle as more Americans than expected applied for first-time unemployment benefits.

For the fourth consecutive week U.S. weekly jobless claims have missed economist expectations. Thursday the U.S. Labor Department said that weekly jobless claims fell by 24,000 to 400,000, down from the previous week’s revised estimate of 424,000 claims.

Economists were expecting weekly jobless claims to drop back below 400,000 claims.

The four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it flattens week-to-week volatility – rose to 394,500, an increase of 8,000 claims from the previous week.

Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 3.269 million during the week ending July 17, an increase of 7,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

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