Initial jobless claims jumped more than expected.
Claims, which count the number of people who applied for unemployment insurance for the first time in the past week, rose by 20,000 to 243,000.
Economists had forecast claims would rise to 238,000 from the prior week’s reading of 223,000, which was the lowest count since March 1973.
Moreover, the four-week moving average came in at 236,500, an uptick of 2,250 from the previous week’s unrevised average of 234,250.
Initial jobless claims are used as a real-time proxy for the pace of layoffs and the overall health of the labor market since people usually file for benefits soon after they lose their jobs.