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Jobless claims climb to 5-week high of 248,000

Staff Writer |
The number of Americans who sought unemployment benefits in late May rose to a five-week high, likely reflecting the normal ebb and flow that occurs around a holiday.

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Initial jobless claims jumped by 13,000 to 248,000 in the seven days stretching from May 21 to May 27, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast a 239,000 reading.

The upsurge in new claims last week preceded the Memorial Day holiday. Claims often rise and fall around holidays because people delay filings or applications are processed more slowly since government offices are briefly closed.

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