Last week, the amount of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased, directing to continued labor market strength that should continue to support the economy. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits advanced by 1,000 to a seasonally revised 236,000 for the week ended Aug. 26, the Labor Department reported on Thursday.
Data for the week before was adjusted to display 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. Claims have now been under 300,000, a threshold connected with a strong labor market, for 130 straight weeks. That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller.
A Labor Department official reported there were no special factors influencing the claims data and that no states had been projected. But Tropical Storm Harvey, which has destroyed parts of Texas, could affect upcoming reports. The storm will most likely leave some people temporarily unemployed and obstruct the filing of claims.
A poll from economists had projected claims increasing to 237,000 in the most recent week. The four-week moving average of claims, known as a better gauge of labor market trends as it flattens out week-to-week volatility, dropped by 1,250 to 236,750 last week, the lowest reading since May.