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US weekly jobless claims, Q2 labor costs, productivity climb more than expected

Seasonally adjusted initial claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased more than expected to 220,000 in the week ended August 10, up from the upwardly revised 211,000 in the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department reported.

The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for a reading of 208,000.

The four-week moving average increased to 213,750 from the prior week's revised average of 212,750.

The insured unemployment rate, or the proportion of the labor force receiving unemployment benefits, remained unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 1.2% for the week ended August 3.

Insured unemployment for that week rose to 1,726,000 from an upwardly revised level of 1,687,000 in the previous week.

Separately, nonfarm unit labor costs climbed 2.4% on a quarterly basis in the second quarter following a 5.5% surge in the first quarter, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The initial reading for the first quarter was a 1.6% decline.

Economists polled by Econoday had a consensus estimate of a 2.0% increase in second-quarter labor costs.

Nonfarm business-sector labor productivity rose 2.3% in the second quarter as output went up 1.9% while hours worked fell 0.4%. Hourly compensation climbed 4.8%, and real hourly wages gained 1.8%.

The consensus estimate of economists polled by Econoday was for 1.5% growth in labor productivity.

Labor productivity and output in the manufacturing sector dropped 1.6% and 2.1%, respectively, as hours worked fell 0.5%.

Compared with a year ago, second-quarter nonfarm business labor productivity was up 1.8%, and unit labor costs rose 2.5%.