Initial jobless claims rise, but continuing claims fall


A minor setback on the job front: initial jobless claims rose 30,000 to 554,000 for the week ending July 18, the U.S. Labor Department announced Thursday. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News had expected this week's claims to total 560,000.

Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for initial jobless claims actually decreased 19,000 to 566,000. Economists view the four-week average as a better indicator of unemployment conditions, as it smooths-out anomalies for strikes, holidays, or other idiosyncratic events.