Initial jobless claims rise more than expected

Unemployed jobless ohioSpencer Platt/Getty ImagesDora Reynolds, who is currently unemployed, sits along a road downtown on October 24, 2016 in East Liverpool, Ohio

Initial jobless claims rose more than expected.

Claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time in the past week, ticked up to 244,000, marking the 103rd consecutive week the reading has been below 300,000.

Economists had forecast that claims would rise to 241,000, up from the prior week’s reading of 239,000.

Moreover, the four-week moving average was 241,000, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised average, making for the lowest reading since July 21, 1973, when it was 239,500.

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

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