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Economic Report: Jobless claims climb 14,000 to 266,000

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A steady increase in hiring over the past few years has kept layoffs near the lowest level since the early 1970s.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The number of people who applied for unemployment benefits last week rose by 14,000 to 266,000 but remained extremely low, reflecting a still-growing economy in which companies are hiring at a steady clip.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast initial jobless claims to total a seasonally adjusted 260,000 in the week stretching from July 17 to July 23.

Claims are sometimes elevated in July, a time of the year when automakers traditionally shut plants to retool and many workers are eligible for temporary benefits.

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