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Minor increase in US jobless claims

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, indicating the continued strength of the labor market and potentially the longest period of sustained economic growth in US history.

On Thursday, the US Department of Labor said new requests for unemployment benefits increased 2,000 requests to a revised level in light of seasonal factors of 205,000 for the week ending February 8. Requests were down the previous week to 203,000, which was the lowest reading since November.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected orders to rise to 210,000 in the latest week.

The four-week moving average of new orders stabilized, which is a more accurate indication of the labor market because it excludes weekly fluctuations, unchanged at 212 thousand last week.

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