In a sign the labor market is still struggling, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose to 427,000 last week, according to data released by the Labor Department on Thursday morning.
The number of claims, up 1,000 from the previous week, defied projections by economists surveyed by Bloomberg News, who expected claims to drop to 419,000 despite last week’s rise in the unemployment rate. A Reuters poll of economists similarly projected a drop to 415,000.
The number of claims must drop below 400,000 to dent the unemployment rate. Last week marks the ninth consecutive week above that level.
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