The increase comes after three weeks of declines. Weekly claims have been trending down since the spring, but the decline has been painfully slow. The four-week average, which smooths out fluctuations, dropped to 548,000, about 110,000 below its peak in early April.
The number of people remaining on the rolls fell 70,000 to 6.09 million, the lowest level since the week of April 4.
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