Weekly initial claims for week ending July 2 increased by 4,000 to 235,000 (consensus 234,000) while continuing claims for the week ending June 25 increased by 51,000 to 1.375 mln.
The key takeaway from the report is that claims have spent the past few weeks in a narrow range, suggesting little room left for improvement.
The four-week moving average for initial claims increased by 750 to 232,500.
The four-week moving average for continuing claims increased by 16,500 to 1,335,000.
The total number of continued weeks claimed for benefits in all programs for the week ending June 18 was 1,327,839, an increase of 13,570 from the previous week. In the same week a year ago, there were 14,208,913 weekly claims filed for benefits in all programs.