The initial weekly jobless claims rose by 7,000 to 207,000 in the week to Saturday, slightly disappointing market expectations.
Economists’ consensus calls projected for initial claims to come in at 197,000 following the revised level of 200,000 reported in the previous week.
The four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it flattens week-to-week volatility – increased to 204,500. Last week’s four-week moving average was revised up to 199,750, the U.S. Labor Department said on Thursday.
Continuing jobless claims, which represent the number of people already receiving benefits, were at 1,754,000, during the week ending December 25, an increase of 36,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 1,718,000. The four-week moving average dropped to 1,798,750. “This is the lowest level for this average since March 14, 2020 when it was 1,730,750,” the report noted.