Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose more than expected, underlining concerns over the strength of the labor market, official data showed on Thursday.
In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending February 21 rose by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000 from the previous week’s total of 334,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 1,000 to 335,000 last week.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended February 14 rose to 2.964 million from 2.956 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to increase to 2.985 million.
The four-week moving average was 338,250, unchanged from the preceding week. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar remained added to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.22% to trade at 1.3656, compared to 1.3662 ahead of the data.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open. The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a loss of 0.2%, S&P 500 futures indicated a decline of 0.2%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures signaled a drop of 0.1%.
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