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Economic Report: U.S. jobless claims jump in latest week by biggest amount since last July

The numbers: Initial jobless claims rose by 19,000 to 200,000 in the week ended April 30, the Labor Department said Thursday.  This is the biggest weekly rise in claims since last July and the highest level since mid-February.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would rise only to 182,000.

Key details: The number of people already collecting jobless benefits fell by 19,000 to 1.38 million in the week ended April 23. This is the lowest level since early 1970.

Big picture: The gain echoes some of the softening in the labor market in April detected by the ADP National Employment report. The ADP data a decline in small business hiring.

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Wednesday described the labor market as “extremely tight.” Over first three months of the year, employment has risen by 1.7 million jobs this year, he noted. A strong labor market is one reason the economy can handle tighter monetary policy, Powell said.

Market reaction: Stocks


were set to open lower on Thursday after rallying in the prior session on a view the Fed wasn’t as hawkish as feared in its policy decisions.

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