The Labor Department announced that 219,000 new US jobless claims were registered in the week to May 20, up by 3,000 on the previous week, which was revised upwards from 215,000 to 216,000.

The four-week moving average - more representative of the underlying trend - came in at 222,500, a rather anecdotal increase of 2,500 on the previous week.

Finally, the number of people receiving regular benefits rose by 4,000 to 1,791,000 during the week of May 13, the most recent period available for this statistic.

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