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Continuing jobless claims rise to 2-month high

Initial jobless claims rise to 320K

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Continuing jobless claims rose the most in two months, coming in well above analyst expectations for the eighth week in a row, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, rising 41,000 in the March 8 week to 2.889 million.

The number of people filing initial jobless claims in the week ending March 15 rose by 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000 from the previous week’s total of 315,000.

There are no special factors in today's report, one that gives a little boost to the economic outlook.

The 4-week average is down 17,000 to 2.897 million, which is more than 50,000 below the month-ago comparison. The unemployment rate for insured employees is at 2.2% for a third straight week.

Initial claims came in at a lower-than-expected 320,000 in the March 15 week vs 334,000 in the February 15 week. The same comparison of the 4-week averages shows similar improvement, at 327,000 vs 338,500.

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