The number of Americans filing initial claims (search) for jobless pay rose last week to 333,000, the Labor Department (search) said on Wednesday, but was still lower than expected by Wall Street.

A Reuters poll of analysts had forecast first-time claims for state unemployment benefits to climb to 340,000 in the week ended Nov. 6 from 331,000 the previous week. This was revised from 332,000 initially reported.

Employment had been a weak spot for the American economy, with strong growth not creating much work, but October saw a much better-than-expected 337,000 new jobs added, according to data out on Friday.

As well as lower initial claims, the four-week moving average of filings, which smooths out weekly fluctuations to provide a better picture of underlying trends, retreated to 336,000 for lowest reading since early July. This compared with a revised 341,500 the previous week, which had been originally reported at 342,000.

The number of unemployed on the benefit rolls after claiming an initial week of aid declined by 19,000 to 2.813 million in the week ended Oct. 30, the latest for which figures are available.