Initial jobless claims rise more than expected
Initial jobless claims rose more than expected in the week ended 3 March despite signs of healing elsewhere in the jobs market.
According to the Labor Department, first-time claims came to 744,000, well above expectations for a print of 694,000 and an increase of 16,000 on the prior week's upwardly revised reading of 728,000.
The four-week moving average also edged higher, hitting 723,750 last week
On the other hand, continuing claims did provide some positive news, with the total dropping by 16,000 to 3.73m - the lowest level for continuing claims since 21 March 2020.
Major indices were mostly unphased by the data.
Oxford Economics said: "Jobless claims may bounce around week to week as the recovery takes hold, but we expect they will start to decline more consistently as the economy gains momentum.
"We expect the stellar March jobs report to be the first of many and look for a hiring boom in the spring and summer months."