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The US unemployment claims increased for a second straight occasion last week as Americans in good numbers turned up for filing applications to claim their jobless benefits.
The number of Americans filing new jobless claims remained at levels consistent, signaling a stable labor market.
The Labor Department report, released on Thursday, showed that the initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000 for the week that ended on October 25.
The four-week moving average of jobless claims dropped 250 to 281,000, indicating a strengthening condition in the US labor market.
According to a Labor Department analyst, no special factors were present to influence the state level data.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Federal Reserve Bank had offered a rather upbeat view of the US labor market, characterizing the labor market slack as “significant.” But now the Fed considers the underutilization of labor resources as “gradually diminishing.”
The Labor Department report showed that the number of people still getting jobless benefits after an initial week of aid surged 29,000 to 2.38 million in the week that ended on October 18.
The so-called continuing data of jobless claims covered the household survey period from which the rate of unemployment for this month will be calculated.
Continuing claims declined 58,000 for the survey periods between the months of September and October, suggesting a dip in the jobless rate. The jobless rate declined below six percent in September for the first time since July 2008.