(Bloomberg) -- Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose less than estimated and remained around historically low levels, offering the latest signs that the labor market is holding up.

Jobless claims climbed by 2,000 to 208,000 in the week ended Sept. 14, according to Labor Department figures released Thursday that matched the lowest estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists. The four-week average, a less-volatile measure for initial claims, slipped to a seven-week low.

Key Insights

  • The report signals that any weakness in manufacturing amid the trade war with China isn’t leaking into the jobs market yet as employers continue hiring and retaining workers.
  • Federal Reserve officials on Wednesday continued to characterize employment as “strong” with “solid” payroll gains even as they made a second-straight interest rate cut to protect against weakness abroad and trade uncertainty.

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  • Continuing claims, reported with a one-week lag, fell to 1.661 million, less than forecast and the lowest since April, in the week ended Sept. 7.
  • The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits held steady at 1.2%, where it's remained for over a year.
  • Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast that claims would rise to 213,000.

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