The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but the four-week average of claims fell to a two-month low, indicating that labor market conditions continue to tighten.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 257,000 for the week ended April 22, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 fewer applications received than previously reported.
Claims have now been below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market, for 112 straight weeks. That is the longest such stretch since
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits rising to 245,000 last week.