The data from the Labor Department showed Thursday the number of applications
for unemployment increased more than forecast last week.
According to the report, the initial claims for unemployment benefits climbed
by 13,000 to 196,000 for the week ended February 4. That was the highest weekly
total in four weeks.
Economists had forecast 190 000 new claims last week.
Claims for the prior week were left unrevised at 183,000.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average of jobless claims declined to 189,250
from an unrevised 191,750 in the previous week. That marked the
lowest count since late April 2022 (188,250).
As for continuing claims, they increased to 1,688,000 from a downwardly revised
1,650,000 (from 1,655,000) in the previous week. That represented the highest
reading in five weeks.