The number of people who applied for U.S. unemployment benefits rose by 12,000 to 267,000 in week ended July 25, the government said Thursday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected claims to increase to 275,000. Despite the increase, claims remain near the lowest level in decades, indicating the labor market is still on an upswing. The average of new claims over the past month, meanwhile, fell by 3,750 to seasonally adjusted 274,750, the Labor Department said. The four-week average smooths out sharp fluctuations in the more volatile weekly report and is seen as a more accurate predictor of labor-market trends. Continuing jobless claims rose 46,000 to 2.26 million in the week ended July 18. These claims reflect people already receiving unemployment checks.
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