The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but remained below a level that is associated with a strong labor market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 260,000 for the week ended Oct. 15, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
That marked 85 straight weeks of claims below the 300,000 threshold normally associated with a strong jobs market, the longest period since 1970, when the labor market was much smaller. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits rising to 250,000 in the latest week. Part of the increase in claims last week could be related to the effects of Hurricane Matthew, which lashed the Southeast of the country, causing severe flooding.