By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — The improvement in the U.S. labor market since April appeared to be petering out Thursday, after fresh data showed the number of people making initial claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. was almost unchanged last week at 1.300 million.
Labor Department data released on Thursday showed that was only a 10,000 decline from a revised figure of 1.310 million for the previous week. Analysts had expected the number to fall by much more to 1.25 million.
The number of continuing claims, which are reported with a one-week lag to initial claims, fell more sharply than expected to 17.338 million. The previous week’s figure was also revised downwards to 17.600 million. The decline in continuing claims is, however, linked not just to the number of people finding new jobs, but those dropping out of the workforce by stopping their search for work.
More positively, the Commerce Department said that U.S. retail sales rose by 7.5% in June, down from May’s record jump (which was revised up to 18.2%) but still more than the 5.0% expected. Core retail sales, which exclude automobiles, rose 7.3%.
U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Fell to 1.300 Million Last Week
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