The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits bounced back from a 42-1/2-year low last week, but the underlying trend remained consistent with tightening labor market conditions.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 257,000 for the week ended April 23, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 260,000 in the latest week. Jobless claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with healthy labor market conditions, for 60 weeks, the longest stretch since 1973.