Economists generally expected initial claims for unemployment insurance in the U.S. to rise by about 5,000 last week. They actually increased by 11,000.
For the week ending April 22, initial jobless claims rose to 315,000 from the previous week's revised mark of 304,000, the U.S. Labor Department reported on April 27.
The department's four-week moving average for initial claims also increased, rising to 308,500 last week from the previous week's revised average of 305,750. The moving average is seen as the better indicator of underlying labor market conditions since it smoothes out week-to-week changes in the level of initial claims.
The increases in jobless claims numbers last week were small, however, suggesting the U.S. economy continues to add jobs above the 150,000 per month needed just to keep up with population growth.