WASHINGTON — Initial claims for state unemployment benefits retraced a large decline in the prior week, rising 35,000 to 380,000 in the April 26 week, while continuing claims broke the three million mark for the first time in four years, the Labor Department reported yesterday.

A Labor analyst cited “no special factors” affecting initial claims for the latest week, again describing the week as “uneventful.”

Analysts had expected initial jobless claims to rise to 370,000. The previous week’s initial claims level was revised slightly upward to 345,000 from the original 342,000.

Meanwhile, continuing claims for the April 19 week rose 74,000 to 3.019 million, the highest level since 3.034 million in April 2004. The four-week average rose 16,750 in the April 19 week to reach 2.979 million — the highest since 2.992 million in May 2004.

— Market News International

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