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U.S. Weekly Jobless Claims Rise

Meanwhile, mid-Atlantic factory activity slumps

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased moderately last week, suggesting the labor market was gradually slowing as the Federal Reserve's year-long interest rate hiking campaign dampens demand.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 5,000 to a seasonally adjusted 245,000 for the week ended April 15, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 240,000 claims for the latest week.

The combination of spring breaks, which temporarily left support staff at some school districts unemployed, and people who have exhausted their severance packages following a rush of layoffs in the tech sector and other areas of the economy sensitive to interest rates, could account for part of the rise in claims last week.

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