The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continued to suggest the labor market was tightening.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 274,000 for the week ended May 16, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were unrevised.
Despite last week's increase, claims remained below 300,000, a threshold associated with a strengthening labor market, for an 11th straight week. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 271,000 last week.
A Labor Department analyst said there was nothing unusual in the state-level data and no states had been estimated.