U.S. Jobless Claims Fall
The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell for the fourth time in five weeks; however, data remained volatile amid the slowdown in factory activity.
In the week ending July 21, initial claims for unemployment benefits fell 35,000 to a seasonally adjusted 353,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday. The four-week moving average of claims, a more reliable figure because if smooths out weekly volatility fell by 8,750 to 367,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 376,000.
The new data comes as the Federal Reserve considers taking steps to stimulate growth in the economy, thus bringing unemployment down. The unemployment rate remains at 8.2% as the economy added just 80,000 jobs in June, a slight increase over last month.
The interpretation for jobless claims has been unstable this month because of the timing of the annual auto plant shutdowns for retooling.
In a separate report, new orders for manufactured durable goods in June 2012 increased 1.6 percent, to $221.6 billion. Excluding transportation, new orders fell 1.1 percent.