Jobless Claims Rise by 11,000

The number of U.S. workers claiming an initial week of jobless aid rose 11,000 last week, slightly less than expected, a government report showed Thursday.

First-time claims for state unemployment insurance benefits rose to a seasonally adjusted 308,000 for the week ended June 17 from an upwardly revised 297,000 claims the previous week, the Labor Department said.

Wall Street economists had forecast initial claims would rise to 310,000 from an initially reported 295,000 the previous week. A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors to account for last week's increase.

The four-week moving average of claims, which smooths weekly fluctuations to provide a better picture of labor market trends, fell to 311,250 from an upwardly revised 316,250 the previous week.

The number of people who continued to file for benefits after receiving an initial week of aid rose 18,000 to 2.439 million in the week ended June 10, the latest for which that data is available.

Wall Street economists had expected continued claims to edge downward to 2.415 million from an initially reported 2.425 million the previous week. The June 3 week figure was adjusted downward to 2.421 million.