RTTNews - While recent data has shown some signs of stabilization in the labor market, the Labor Department released a report Thursday morning showing that first-time claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly increased in the week ended August 15th.

The report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 576,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 561,000. The increase came as a surprise to economists, who had expected jobless claims to edge down to 550,000 from the 558,000 originally reported for the previous week.

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