Weekly jobless claims figures for the week ended September 14 are out.
Initial jobless claims were 309,000, up from last week's artificially-depressed number but down from 323,000 the week before that.
Economists predicted a larger rise to 330,000.
Continuing claims in the week ended September 7 unexpectedly fell to 2.787 million from the previous week's upward-revised 2.815 million.
Initial claims for the week ended September 7 were revised up to 294,000 from 292,000.
Last week's sub-300,000 number was due to computer system upgrades in some states that delayed processing of a portion of the claims.
According to Bloomberg, this week's number is artificially depressed as well, as two states were still "working through a backlog of applications that were caused by computer-system changeovers."
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