The number of people filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose slightly last week, allaying fears of a major setback in the labor market recovery.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 352,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The prior week's number was revised to show 2,000 more applications than previously reported.
A Labor Department analyst said claims for California and Kentucky had been estimated.
Despite the increase last week, which was broadly in line with economists' expectations, claims held near a level economists normally associate with average monthly job gains of more than 150,000.
That helped to further ease concerns of a deterioration in labor market conditions after nonfarm payrolls posted their smallest increase in nine months in March.
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