WASHINGTON – The number of Americans lining up for first-time jobless benefits rose by 54,000 last week, the government said on Thursday in a report that showed further softness in the U.S. labor market.
The number of workers filing initial jobless claims for the week ended Nov. 24, hit 488,000, the Labor Department reported. That was well above the 448,000 claims economists in a Reuters poll were expecting for the week -- one which would typically see light filings because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Labor Department said the weekly jobless claims report typically fluctuates during this time of year because of several shortened holiday work weeks.
Those workers out of jobs are staying that way, according to the report. The number of so-called continued claims rose by 301,000 to 4.02 million for the week ended Nov. 17, the biggest one-week jump in 27 years.
The number of continued claims was at its highest level since Dec. 25, 1982, when it hit 3.82 million.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a more reliable measure of employment conditions because it irons out weekly fluctuations, dipped to 454,000 last week from 456,000 the week before.