A report released by the Labor Department on Thursday showed first-time claims for U.S. unemployment benefits increased by more than expected in the week ended April 9th.
The Labor Department said initial jobless claims rose to 185,000, an increase of 18,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 167,000.
Economists had expected initial jobless claims to edge up to 171,000 from the 166,000 originally reported for the previous week.
“Despite the increase, claims are still at very low levels, underscoring historically tight labor market conditions,” said Nancy Vanden Houten, Lead U.S. Economist at Oxford Economics.
She added, “We expect initial claims to remain below 200k in the weeks ahead, as employers, who continue to struggle to attract and retain workers, will keep layoffs to a minimum.”
The report showed the less volatile four-week moving average also inched up to 172,250, an increase of 2,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 170,250.
Meanwhile, the Labor Department said continuing claims, a reading on the number of people receiving ongoing unemployment assistance, fell by 48,000 to 1.475 million in the week ended April 2nd.
The four-week moving average of continuing claims also dipped to 1,511,500, a decrease of 29,750 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 1,541,250.