Weekly initial jobless claims jumped to 348,000 for the week ended January 25.
Economists were expecting a reading of 330,000, up from the revised print of 329,000.
Continuing claims for the week ended January 18 fell to 2.991 million, down from the revised reading of 3.007 million the week before.
U.S. stock futures are still in the green, but gains edged back after claims and this morning’s GDP report (GDP slowed to 3.2%).
“We expect little change in jobless claims, which have stabilised as the fourth quarter’s array of distorting factors have faded,” Pantheon’s Ian Shepherdson wrote clients ahead of the report.