Last week initial claims for unemployment insurance rose to 283,000, an increase of 11,000 claims from the previous week's revised figure of 272,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on Jan. 26. Economists had expected the number of claims for the week ending Jan. 21 to increase to about 295,000.
The department's four-week moving average of initial claims, generally considered a better indicator of underlying labor market conditions because it smooths out week-to-week changes, continued downward last week. The average was 288,750 claims, a decrease of 10,750 from the previous week's revised average of 299,500.
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