And after shrinking for three consecutive weeks, the lines of people lining up for unemployment benefits for the first time grew longer by 7000, according to the Department of Labor.
The figure, which comes ahead of tomorrow’s monthly unemployment data, rose to 399,00 in the workweek ending June 30, from the previous week?s revised total of 392,000, which represented a fall of 12,000 on the week before that.
The more stable four-week moving average of jobless claims, a better indication of unemployment levels because it evens out weekly fluctuations, fell last week to 407,500, its lowest level since reaching a trough at the close of May.
The data release also shows that for the workweek ending June 23, 21 states and territories reported increases in claims, with New Jersey showing the highest increase.
A further 31 states or territories reported decreases, with Missouri recording the largest drop in claims, in seasonally unadjusted terms.