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The Economy

August 09, 1996|Times Staff and Wire Reports

Weekly Jobless Benefit Claims Edge Up: The Labor Department said initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 24,000 to 318,000 in the week ended Aug. 3, from 294,000 the previous week, the latest sign the economy may be slowing down after rapid growth last spring. The report also indicated, however, that demand for labor remained robust, economists said, as the economy grew at a brisk 4.2% rate in the second quarter, the fastest pace in two years. The Labor Department's four-week moving average of jobless claims, which is considered a more accurate measurement of employment trends because it smooths out weekly volatility, fell from 338,000 to 325,000 in the week ended Aug. 3, its lowest level since an average of 324,250 for the week ended Dec. 31, 1994.

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