The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, suggesting some loss of momentum in the labor market amid a sharp economic slowdown and stock market selloff.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 285,000 for the week ended Jan. 30, the Labor Department said on Thursday. The prior week's claims were revised to show 1,000 fewer applications received than previously reported.
Despite the increase last week, claims remained below 300,000, a level associated with strong labor market conditions, for the 48th straight week. That is the longest run since the early 1970s.
A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing last week's claims data and only claims in Oklahoma had been estimated.