Initial jobless claims held little changed at 247,000 in the July 8 week with the prior week, when 7 states had to be estimated, revised only slightly, 2,000 higher to 250,000. No states were estimated in the latest week. The 4-week average is up 2,250 to 245,750 which is slightly above the month-ago trend in what is not a favorable early indication for the July employment report.
Continuing claims, where data lag by a week, fell 20,000 to 1.945 million with this 4-week average, at 1.949 million, also up slightly. The unemployment rate for insured workers is unchanged at a very low 1.4 percent.
There are no special factors in today's report which, despite the movement higher for the 4-week averages, is still clearly consistent with very strong demand for labor.