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First-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits edged slightly higher in the week ended August 21st, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday.

The report said initial jobless claims inched up to 353,000, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 349,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to tick up to 350,000 from the 348,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average fell to 366,500, a decrease of 11,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 378,000.


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