The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose a bit more than expected last week, but remained at levels consistent with tightening labor market conditions.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000 for the week ended Aug. 30, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were unrevised.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims climbing to 300,000 last week. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors influencing the state level data.
The four-week average of claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, climbed 3,000 to 302,750.
Still, both claims and the four-week moving average continued to point to a strengthening jobs market.