The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to sustained labor market strength.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 266,000 for the week ended July 23, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 fewer applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast initial claims rising to 260,000 in the latest week. Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market, for 73 consecutive weeks, the longest stretch since 1973.
Prices of U.S. Treasurys were unchanged after the data. U.S. stock futures were trading lower and the dollar was weaker against a basket of currencies.
The claims data tend to be volatile around this time of the year when automobile manufacturers normally idle assembly lines for retooling. Some, however, often keep production running, which can throw off the model the government uses to strip out seasonal fluctuations from the data.