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Economic Report: U.S. jobless claims settle just above 200,000 mark

The numbers: Initial jobless claims rose 1,000 to 203,000 in the week ended May 7, the Labor Department said Thursday.  

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would fall to 194,000.

Claims rose by a revised 21,000 to 202,000 in the prior week. That’s the biggest weekly increase since last July.

Key details: The number of people already collecting jobless benefits fell by 44,000 to 1.34 million in the week ended April 30. This is the lowest level since early 1970.

Big picture: Labor markets remain tight. Higher interest rates may slow the economy but not into next year, economist say. Even as the economy slows, companies are expected to avoid layoffs and simply slow down hiring instead.

Market reaction: Stocks
DJIA,
-1.02%

SPX,
-1.65%

were set to open lower Thursday on concerns about high inflation leading the Federal Reserve to slam on the brakes and slow growth sharply.

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