After reporting an unexpected increase in first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits in the previous week, the Labor Department released a report on Thursday showing a modest pullback in initial jobless claims in the week ended July 24th.

The report said initial jobless claims dipped to 400,000, a decrease of 24,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 424,000.

Economists had expected jobless claims to drop to 380,000 from the 419,000 originally reported for the previous week.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department said the less volatile four-week moving average crept up to 394,500, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 386,500.

The report said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, also inched up by 7,000 to 3.269 million in the week ended July 17th.

The four-week moving average of continuing claims still fell by 53,750 to 3,290,750, hitting its lowest level since the week ended March 21, 2020.

Next Friday, the Labor Department is scheduled to release its more closely watched report on the employment situation in the month of July.

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