The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, which could add to concerns that the labor market was losing steam after job growth slowed sharply in May.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 222,000 for the week ended June 8, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims decreasing to 216,000 in the latest week. The Labor Department said no states were estimated. While layoffs remain relatively low, the third straight weekly increase in claims suggests some softening in labor market conditions.