Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose more than expected, dampening optimism 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 May 17 increased by 28,000 to a seasonally adjusted 326,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 298,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 12,000 to 310,000 last week.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended May 10 fell to 2.653 million from 2.666 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to decline to 2.660 million.
The four-week moving average was 322,500, an increase of 1,000 from the previous week’s total of 323,500. 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 held on to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.14% to trade at 1.3667.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed open. The Dow 30 futures pointed to a loss of 0.1%, the S&P 500 indicated a rise of 0.1%, while the Nasdaq 100 signaled a gain of 0.1%.