Weekly jobless claims tick upward

Weekly jobless claims tick upward
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Jobless claims ticked up last week after dropping to a 42-year low, a sign of the labor market’s stability.

The Department of Labor said Thursday that first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 267,000 after hitting 255,000 two weeks ago, the best showing in more than four decades.

The four-week average, a better gauge of where the labor market is headed, dropped 3,750 to 274,750.

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Meanwhile, the Commerce Department said that the economy grew at a steady 2.3 percent pace in the April-June quarter, rebounding from a contraction in the first three months of the year that was mostly blamed on severe winter weather.

The government's July jobs report, due out Aug. 7, will give the Federal Reserve another look at the labor market's trajectory to help determine when to raise its key interest rate.

Employers added 223,000 jobs in June and unemployment fell to 5.3 percent, the lowest since spring, 2008.

While the labor market makes steady improvements, the Fed is looking for more workers to rejoin the labor force before hiking interest rates.

On Wednesday, the Fed said it will keep rates near zero for now but would like to raise them sometime this year, even as soon as the September meeting.