(Kitco News) – Weakness in the labor market continues to build as the Labor Department reported weaker-than-expected jobless claims for the fourth consecutive week.
Initial weekly U.S. jobless claims topped consensus forecasts even after falling by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 231,000 in the week to Saturday, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Consensus expectations compiled by various news organizations had called for initial claims to be around 226,000. The government revised the prior week’s tally up by 1,000 to 234,000 jobs.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average for new claims – often viewed as a more reliable measure of the labor market since it smoothens out week-to-week volatility – increased by 4,250 claims to 228,000
Continuing jobless claims, the number of people already receiving benefits and reported with a one-week delay, dropped by 74,000 to a seasonally adjusted 1.631 million during the week ending Nov. 24, the government said.
The data is not having much impact on gold prices, which spiked modestly higher following weaker than expected private-sector employment data from private payrolls processor ADP. February gold futures last traded at $1,242.30 an ounce, nearly unchanged on the day.
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