Initial jobless claims jump more than expected

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Reuters/Jason Reed

Initial jobless claims jumped more than expected.

Claims, which count people applying for unemployment insurance for the first time, rose by 21,000 to 275,000, above economists’ forecasts of an uptick to 256,000.

Last week, claims fell by 4,000 to 254,000.

Claims have been below the 300,000 mark for 94 consecutive weeks. This is the longest streak since 1970.

Initial jobless claims are used as a real-time proxy for the pace of layoffs and the overall health of the labor market, since people usually file for benefits soon after they lose their jobs.

The four-week moving average was 263,750, an increase of 6,000 from the prior week’s unrevised average of 257,750.