Weekly Initial Unemployment Claims increase to 344,000

The DOL reports:

In the week ending April 26, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 344,000, an increase of 14,000 from the previous week’s revised level. The previous week’s level was revised up by 1,000 from 329,000 to 330,000. The 4-week moving average was 320,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 250 from 316,750 to 317,000.

There were no special factors impacting this week’s initial claims.

The previous week was revised up from 329,000.

The following graph shows the 4-week moving average of weekly claims since January 2000.

Click on graph for larger image.

The dashed line on the graph is the current 4-week average. The four-week average of weekly unemployment claims increased to 320,000.

This was above the consensus forecast of 320,000.  Even with the increase, the 4-week average is close to normal levels for an expansion.

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