RTTNews - First-time claims for unemployment benefits showed a modest increase in the week ended August 8th, surprising economists who had expected a modest decrease. Nonetheless, jobless claims remain well off the peaks seen in the spring.

A report from the Labor Department released on Thursday showed that initial jobless claims edged up to 558,000 from the previous week's revised figured of 554,000. Economists had been expecting claims to slip to 545,000 from the 550,000 originally reported for the previous week.

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