The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased modestly last week, but labor market conditions continued to tighten.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 271,000 for the week ended June 20, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. It was the 16th straight week that claims held below 300,000, a threshold usually associated with a firming labor market.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 272,000 last week. A Labor Department analyst said there was nothing unusual in the state-level data.
The four-week moving average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 3,250 to 273,750 last week.