According to the US Department of Labor (DoL) data, first time claims bumped up to 388,000 for the August 10 week, up from a revised 382,000 the week before.
New claims bested economists’ expectations with predictions of a rise to 378,000.
While the initial claims figures have bounced up and down, the overall trend has been downward, a sign that the job market is stabilizing at a lower level. The figure has also stayed below 400,000, a level economists consider as indicating a recession.
First-time claims were in relatively good shape, but the Labor Department figures also showed that people are still struggling to find work. Continued claims — for those who have already drawn at least a week of benefits — rose to 3.58 million in the week ended August 3.
That’s the highest since matching 3.58 million in the July 6 week.
The closely watched four-week moving average, a more reliable barometer of labor market trends because it irons out weekly fluctuations, rose to 381,750 in the week ended August. 10, up slightly from 380,500 in the previous week.