- 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 March 29 increased by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 310,000.

Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 7,000 to 317,000 last week.

Continuing jobless claims in the week ended March 22 rose to 2.836 million from 2.814 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to increase to 2.840 million.

The four-week moving average was 319,500, an increase of 250 from the previous week’s total of 319,250. 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 trimmed gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.02% to trade at 1.3763, compared to 1.3755 ahead of the data.

Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a modestly lower open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a loss of 0.02%, S&P 500 futures indicated a decline of 0.05%, while the Nasdaq 100 futures signaled a drop of 0.05%.

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