The U.S. Department of Labor reported that initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 4,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 372,000, considered by analysts to be a sluggish labor market. The four-week moving average for new claims was calculated at 368,000 last week, a slight increase from the prior week, but still 2.1 percent lower than in the second week of July. Reportedly 163,000 new jobs were created in July. This represents an improvement from the prior three months, though the unemployment rate still ticked higher, to 8.3 percent.
Nonetheless improvement in the housing market was apparent as the Commerce Department issued a statement that new single-family home sales edged higher in July, while data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed home prices rose in June.Pages: