Weekly jobless claims rise to 214,000

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose last week, though remained at a historically low level.

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Initial jobless claims for unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted level of 214,000 for the week ended Sept. 22, according to data released Thursday by the Labor Department. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal expected 206,000 claims.

The four-week average, considered to be a better gauge of trends in the labor market and a less volatile number, rose by 250 to 206,250 in the previous week.

Non-seasonally adjusted claims in the Carolinas increased in the past week from the week before, likely due to the effects of Hurricane Florence, which made landfall in North Carolina as a Category 1 storm on Sept. 14. On a seasonally adjusted basis, claims declined in both states from a week earlier.

Initial jobless claims unexpectedly fell to a near-49-year low last week to a seasonally adjusted level of 201,000, which was revised to 202,000. The four-week average declined to 205,750, which was revised higher to 206,000.