By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com -- The tightness in the U.S. labor market showed little sign of easing on Thursday, as the number of people claiming for jobless benefits continued to trend down despite a modest uptick.
The Labor Department said that 213,000 people filed initial claims last week, up slightly from 208,000 the week before, but below analysts' consensus forecast of 218,000.
The previous week's figures were revised down by 5,000. As such, the four-week average for initial jobless claims, which smoothes out some of the weekly volatility in the series, continued to decline, hitting a three-month low of 216,750.
The number of continuing jobless claims also continued to decline, by some 22,000, to 1.379 million.
The data continue to suggest that despite a slowdown that is causing layoffs to increase, it's still relatively simple for those who lose one job to find another almost immediately.
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