The numbers: Initial jobless benefit claims rose 14,000 to 262,000 in the week ended Aug. 6, the Labor Department said Thursday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would rise 4,000 from last week’s initial estimate of 260,000. Key details: The four-week average of claims rose 4,500 to 252,000.
The number of people already collecting jobless benefits rose by 8,000 to 1.43 million. Big picture: Although moving in fits and starts, claims have been slowly trending higher, consistent with some softening in demand for workers. The Federal Reserve wants to cool the labor market in order to get the inflation rate under control. Market reaction: U.S. stocks
were set to open higher on Thursday after strong gain in the prior day’s trading session.