Unexpected rise in US jobless figures reflects wider economic concerns

 

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, suggesting persistent weakness in the labour market after stumbling badly in recent months. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 386,000, the US labor department said.

The prior week’s figure was revised up to 380,000 from the previously reported 377,000. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dipping to 375,000 last week.

The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of labour market trends, climbed 3,500 to 382,000. Job growth in May was the weakest in a year and followed a tepid performance in April. – (Reuters)