The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose for a second straight week last week, but remained at levels consistent with a firming labor market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000 for the week ended Oct. 25, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 250 to 281,000. Claims at these levels indicate a strengthening in labor market conditions.
A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing the state level data.
The Federal Reserve on Wednesday offered a rather upbeat view of the labor market, dropping its characterization of labor market slack as “significant.” Fed officials now view the underutilization of labor resources as “gradually diminishing.”
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