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Jobless claims edged slightly higher for the week ending Jan. 18, rising by 1,000 filings to 326,000 claims, the latest U.S. Department of Labor report found.

Meanwhile, the 4-week moving average hit 331,500 filings, a drop of 3,750 from the previous week’s revised average of 335,250 filings.

"The latest reading for initial claims is definitely a positive," analysts with Econoday said.

"The jobs picture may not be red hot but, based on initial claims, it looks to be improving in January against what is a very easy comparison against a very weak December," Econoday added. 

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