Weekly Jobless Claims Rise to 333,000

The number of Americans seeking first-time unemployment aid (search) rose slightly last week after a sharp drop that came on the back of a holiday-shortened week, a government report showed Thursday.

Jobless claims edged up 1,000 to 333,000 in the week ended June 11, from the prior week's revised 332,000, the Labor Department (search) said.

The weekly increase defied Wall Street expectations for claims to hold steady at the original Labor Department reading of 330,000 for the week ended June 4.

Despite occasional volatility, claims have been holding in a fairly tight range for several months. A steep 19,000 decline in the June 4 week was caused by the Memorial Day holiday along with fewer auto industry layoffs.

A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors behind the rise in the June 11 week.

The closely watched four-week moving average, viewed as a better gauge of labor market conditions because it irons out week-to-week fluctuations, also rose, climbing 2,750 to 335,000.

The number of people still on the jobless rolls after drawing a week of benefits rose 58,000 to 2.64 million in the week ended June 4, the latest week for which data are available.