Initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 260,000 last week, near the highest level since November amid a shift in the U.S. labor market.

The total for the week ended July 30 was in line with the Dow Jones estimate but a gain of 6,000 from the previous week’s downwardly revised level, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

In other economic news, the U.S. trade deficit in goods and services decreased to $79.6 billion in June, down $5.3 billion and slightly lower than the estimate for $80 billion.

The jobless claims number comes a day before the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its much anticipated nonfarm payrolls report for July. That is expected the show the U.S. economy added 258,000 positions in the month, compared to the 372,000 initial June estimate and the lowest total since December 2020.

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