Initial jobless claims climbed to 260,000 from 259,000 a week ago.
This was a bit better than the 265,000 expected by economist.
Despite the upward move, the number continues to be very low.
“The 4-week moving average was 259,250, a decrease of 4,000 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 263,250,” the Department of Labor noted. “This is the lowest level for this average since December 15,1973.”
“The ongoing decline in continuing and initial claims is reassuring given the recent softness in employment gains as measured by the monthly employment report,” Barclays’ Rob Martin said. “The levels of these series indicate that the separation side of the labor market remains solid. Workers do not seem to be losing their jobs in large numbers. Taken together, the details of this morning’s report support our view that labor-market slack has continued to decline.”
“Amazingly strong,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Ian Shepherdson said. “If these numbers can be sustained, the data would be hugely supportive of our view that markets and media are overweighting the macro importance of the (very real) slowdown in manufacturing, and ignoring the strength of the services sector, which is five-and-a-half times bigger.”