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The number of new jobless claims reported weekly to the U.S. Department of Labor is considered a leading forward indicator for jobs growth in the US labor market and is thereby linked to expectations for economic growth and potential moves by the US Federal Reserve to increase interest rates. According to the most recent data:

  • For the week ended 30 July, the number of initial jobless claims - e.g. new jobless claims - decreased by 5,000 to 240,000, nearing the 238,000 reported in June. 
  • Whereas initial jobless claims decreased, the total number of persons receiving unemployment benefits - e.g. "continued claims" or "insured unemployment" - has been on an upward trend since May, reaching 1.97 million last week.
  • In addition, not all states reported a decrease in jobless claims. Iowa - where the number of claims increased by 879 last week - now has more jobless claims than Indiana and Louisiana.

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