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The Number of Americans Applying for Jobless Benefits Ticks Up Slightly

Applications for jobless benefits increased by 2,000 for the week ending April 12, bringing the total to 304,000, up from last week’s revised figure of 302,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, fell 4,750 to 312,000, down from last week’s revised figure of 316,750.

“This is the lowest level for this average since October 6, 2007 when it was 302,000,” the Labor Department report reads.

There were no unexpected factors that affected this week’s unemployment benefits number.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.1 percent for the week ending April 5, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate of 2.1 percent. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 5 was 2,739,000, a decrease of 11,000 from the previous week's revised level,” the report reads.

“The previous week's level was revised down by 26,000 from 2,776,000 to 2,750,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,785,250, a decrease of 32,500 from the previous week's revised average. This is the lowest level for this average since January 19, 2008 when it was 2,777,500. The previous week's average was revised down by 6,500 from 2,824,250 to 2,817,750,” it added.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending April 5 were Michigan (+4,285), Pennsylvania (+2,335), New Jersey (+1,630), Florida (+1,624), and Georgia (+1,453). Meanwhile, California (-13,892), Iowa (-1,266), Kentucky (-699), Tennessee (-582) and Idaho (-383) posted the largest decreases in initial claims.

“Employers added 192,000 jobs in March,” the Associated Press reported. “That follows gains of 197,000 in February, as the unemployment rate stayed at 6.7 percent for the second straight month.”

Markets are poised to have a strong trading day Thursday:

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