The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid last week increased more than market expectations as the job market still kept at a relatively good stage.
In the week ending April 19, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits increased to 329,000, 24,000 more than the revised level of the previous week, the U.S. Labor Department reported Thursday.
The data is much higher than the average market expectation of around 315,000.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, only increased by 4750 to 316, 750 last week, still the lowest level since 2007. The advance figure of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending April 12 continued falling to 2.68 million, down 61,000 from the previous week, the lowest level since December 8, 2007.
Initial claims for jobless benefits reflect the latest firings in a week. A decrease or keeping at a low level is a signal for job market rising. Analysts believed the sudden rise of jobless claims last week was mainly caused by the Easter holiday period which made the statistics more difficult to adjust the data for seasonal variations.
In March, the U.S. economy added 192,000 jobs to nonfarm payrolls while the unemployment rate stayed at 6.7 percent, the lowest level since October 2008, said the Labor Department earlier in the month.