US Unemployment Claims Rise to 239,000 02/15 06:44

US Unemployment Claims Rise to 239,000 02/15 06:44

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The number of Americans applying for unemployment 
benefits rose last week but remains at levels low enough to show that most 
workers enjoy job security.

   The Labor Department says claims for unemployment checks increased by 4,000 
to 239,000. The four-week average, which does not bounce around as much, rose 
6,750 to 231,750. That's highest level since late January 2018.

   Jobless claims are a proxy for layoffs. They are at low levels consistent 
with a healthy job market.

   Employers last month added 304,000 jobs, the most in nearly a year. 
Unemployment is at 4 percent, near what economists consider full employment.

   The economy has stayed strong despite a 35-day partial shutdown of the 
federal government, higher interest rates, and trade disputes with China and 
other U.S. trading partners.


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