The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose last week, but the underlying trend continued to point to a robust labor market that should keep the economy on a strong growth path this year.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 213,000 for the week ended Aug. 25, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was unrevised.
Claims had declined for three straight weeks. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 214,000 in the latest week.
The Labor Department said only claims for Maine were estimated last week. The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, fell 1,500 last week to 212,250, the lowest level since December 1969.