First-time unemployment filings rose last week, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Labor, surprising economists who had expected a decline to 465,000.
Initial jobless claims rose to 480,000 for the week ending Dec. 12, from 473,000 the previous week. It’s the second week in a row that new filings increased. However, the four-week moving average fell for the 15th week straight. The Labor Department says on average, in each of the last four weeks, 467,500 new claims for unemployment benefits were filed.
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The Labor Department report says 5.186 million Americans filed a continuing claim during the week. That’s an increase of 5,000 from the previous week, but over the previous four weeks, the weekly average of continuing claims was down.