RTTNews - First-time claims for unemployment benefits showed a moderate increase in the week ended July 18th, according to a report released by the Labor Department on Thursday, with the increase coming roughly in line with economist estimates.

The report showed that jobless claims rose to 554,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 524,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to increase to 557,000 from the 522,000 originally reported for the previous week.

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