Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 27,000 in the April 18 week to 640,000, in a what a Labor Department analyst referred to as “a pretty uneventful week.”

A Market News International survey had expected the initial claims level to rise to 636,000 this week from the originally reported 610,000 from the April 11 week. The expectations ranged from 615,000 to 650,000.

In a survey week comparison, claims fell 4,000 compared to the 644,000 claims in the March 14 employment survey week.

The seasonally adjusted four-week average, however, registered a drop, with initial claims down 4,250 to 646,750.

The Labor Department analyst described it as “a pretty uneventful week” in spite of the change in seasonally adjusted value this week.

In the April 11 week, continuing claims set another record high for the 12th consecutive week — seemingly firmly entrenched above the six million mark — rising by 93,000 to 6.137 million. Continuing claims were 2.929 million in the comparable week a year ago.

The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate again rose in the April 11 week from the prior week, this time to 4.6% from 4.5%. That is the highest rate seen since the matching rate in the Jan. 1, 1983, week. It was 2.2% in the comparable week a year ago.

— Market News International

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