Filings for U.S. unemployment benefits rose to a four-week high last week, interrupting a run of subdued firings, a Labor Department report showed Thursday.
Jobless claims increased by 14,000 to 257,000 (forecast was 245,000) in the week ended April 22. The number of people continuing to receive jobless benefits rose by 10,000 to 1.99 million in the week ended April 15. (These data are reported with a one-week lag).
The four-week average of claims, a less volatile measure than weekly data, was little changed at 242,250 from 242,750.
Even with the increase, unemployment filings remain at a relatively low level and are on par with the 1970s, with employers more focused on adding and retaining workers than on firing them in a tight job market. An unusually late Easter holiday this year might have affected the data in recent weeks.
The prior week’s reading was revised to 243,000 from 244,000. The unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits remained at 1.4 percent. Louisiana was the only state with estimated claims last week.
There was nothing unusual in the broader data, according to the Labor Department
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