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U.S. jobless claims well over 300,000, reach one-month high

WASHINGTON (BNO NEWS) -- Initial claims for unemployment insurance in the United States reached 372,000 in the week ending August 18, marking a one-month high in the country's economy, the U.S. Labor Department (DOL) reported on Thursday.

The DOL report's weekly numbers, which also represent an increase of about 4,000 when compared to the previous week, reveal little progress in the U.S. economy.

The 4-week moving average was 368,000, an increase of 3,750 from the previous week's revised average of 364,250, the report said, also showing that the number of unemployed with unemployment insurance for the week ending August 11 remained the same at 2.6 percent, compared to the previous week.

There was also an increase of 4,000 in the number of workers who claimed benefits under regular state unemployment programs, totaling 3,317,000 during the week ending August 11, according to the latest DOL report. The 4-week moving average was 3,311,500, an increase of 6,500 from the preceding week's revised average of 3,305,000.

In the unadjusted, advance number of actual initial claims under state programs, the DOL report showed a slight decrease of 7,320 as it totaled 310,121 in the week ending August 18. There were 344,870 initial claims in the comparable week in 2011.

The highest insured unemployment rates in the week ending August 4 were in Puerto Rico (4.7), theVirgin Islands (4.6), Pennsylvania (3.8), New Jersey (3.7), Connecticut (3.6), Alaska (3.6), California (3.5), Rhode Island (3.2), New York (3.1), and Nevada (3.0).

The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending August 11 were in California (+7,941), Puerto Rico (+1,980), Oregon (+755), Idaho (+527), and Connecticut (+306), while the largest decreases were in Michigan (-2,324), Pennsylvania (-1,879), Indiana (-1,485), Illinois (-1,223), and Massachsetts (-1,212).

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