(Newsroom America) -- Jobless claims rose again for the second week in a row to a new monthly high, according to government figures, demonstrating little progress in the labor market.
New claims rose by 4,000 to a weekly 372,000 in the period ending Aug. 18, according to the Labor Department.
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, increased to 368,000, Bloomberg News reported.
Some economists believe companies are skittish about hiring after trimming payrolls during the recession due to uncertainties about whether growth will accelerate in the coming quarters.
"It’s still very sluggish, and growth itself is implying we should not see any acceleration in hiring at this point," Yelena Shulyatyeva, a U.S. economist at BNP Paribas in New York, told the financial newswire prior to the release of the report.
Employers added 163,000 jobs in June, the largest amount since February, but analysts say gains of around 400,000 a month are needed to substantially reduce the unemployment rate.
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