Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell more than expected, staying close to their lowest level in nearly four decades, official data showed on Thursday.
The number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending August 12 decreased by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 232,000 from the previous week’s total of 244,000, the U.S. Department of Labor said.
Analysts expected jobless claims to fall by 4,000 to 240,000 last week.
The four-week moving average was 240,500, down 500 from the previous week. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended August 5 inched down to 1.953 million from 1.956 million in the preceding week.
The US dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six major rivals, was at 93.80, compared to 93.78 ahead of the report.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock futures pointed to a lower open. The blue-chip Dow futures fell 65 points, or around 0.3%, the S&P 500 futures declined 8 points, or about 0.3%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures slumped 32 points, or 0.5%.
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