Initial jobless claims rose by 14,000 to 266,000 last week, according to the Labor Department.
Economists had forecast that first-time claims for unemployment insurance increased last week to 262,000 from a downward revised 252,000, according to Bloomberg.
There are seasonal adjustment issues that could make the claims numbers more volatile around this time of year. But overall, the data send a fairly consistent and upbeat message; weekly claims have not risen above 300,000 for the last 73 weeks – the longest streak in 43 years.
The four-week moving average of claims, which evens out some of the weekly volatility, fell by 1,000 to 256,500.