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US initial jobless claims rise by 7,000

The number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims rose by 7,000 last week to 198,000, according to Labor Department data released on Thursday.

The figure was lower than market estimates of 196,000, while the previous week’s figure was unrevised at 191,000.

The four-week moving average was 198,250, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 196,250.

The US economy added 311,000 jobs in February, while the unemployment rate rose to 3.6%, according to the data.

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