Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week rose more than expected, underlining concerns over the strength of the labor market, official data showed on Thursday.
In a report, the U.S. Department of Labor said the number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ending May 31 increased by 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 312,000 from the previous week's revised total of 304,000.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to rise by 6,000 to 310,000 last week.
Continuing jobless claims in the week ended May 24 fell to 2.603 million from 2.623 million in the preceding week. Analysts had expected continuing claims to rise to 2.625 million.
The four-week moving average was 310,250, a decrease of 2,250 from the previous week's total of 312,500. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Following the release of the data, the U.S. dollar held on to gains against the euro, with EUR/USD shedding 0.5% to trade at 1.3530.
Meanwhile, U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open. The Dow pointed to a gain of 0.3%, the S&P 500 indicated a rise of 0.3%, while the Nasdaq 100 signaled a gain of 0.3%.
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