Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose to a nine-week high, 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 April 26 increased by 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 344,000 from the previous week’s revised total of 330,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to fall by 11,000 to 319,000 last week.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended April 19 rose to 2.771 million from 2.674 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to increase to 2.708 million.
The four-week moving average was 320,000, an increase of 3,000 from the previous week’s total of 317,000. 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 modest losses against the euro, with EUR/USD rising 0.07% to trade at 1.3877.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed open. The Dow pointed to a loss of 0.04%, S&P 500 indicated a decline of 0.04%, while the Nasdaq 100 signaled an increase of 0.15%.