The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, but the rise probably does not signal a material shift in labor market conditions as claims for several states, including California, were estimated.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits jumped 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 248,000 for the week ended May 27, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits rising to 239,000 in the latest week.
It was the 117th straight week that claims were below 300,000, a threshold associated with a healthy labor market.
That is the longest such stretch since 1970, when the labor market was smaller. The labor market is near full employment, with the jobless rate at a 10-year low of 4.4 percent.
A Labor Department