Initial jobless claims totaled 285,000 last week, rising more than forecast.
Economists had estimated that first-time filings for unemployment insurance totaled 277,000 last week, down from 278,000 (now revised to 277,000).
The four-week moving average of claims rose by 2,000 to 284,750 from the previous week’s revised average.
This is the last big data release before the jobs report on Friday, which is expected to show that the pace of job gains slowed as the US economy added 190,000 jobs.
“Some of January’s disappointments in claims may have been attributed to giveback following elevated levels of hiring of temporary workers over the holidays,” BNP Paribas’ Derek Lindsey wrote. “In all the trend remains at rather low historical levels, but we will continue to monitor gains for any solid turnaround in the data.”
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