The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting the labor market continues to expand at a solid clip even as economic growth has stalled.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 268,000 for the week ended March 28, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Claims for the prior week were revised to show 6,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 285,000 last week.
A Labor Department analyst said there was nothing unusual in the state-level data. The department made revisions to the model it uses to adjust the claims data for seasonal fluctuations, which resulted in revisions to prior figures.