Initial Jobless Claims Rise 19,000 to 479,000

Initial jobless claims rose 19,000 to 479,000 in the week ending July 31. The revised figure for the previous week was 460,000.

The four-week moving average, a clearer measure of unemployment trends, rose 5,250 to 458,500. The revised average for the previous week was 453,250, the Department of Labor said in a statement.

"Companies are reluctant to engage in significant hiring," Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA, told Bloomberg News before the report. "Companies are taking on temporary workers and there is still reluctance to hire permanent workers."

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News forecast that claims would fall to 455,000 according to the median of 43 projections.