WASHINGTON — Initial claims for U.S. state unemployment benefits surged 25,000 to 384,000 in the June 7 week, the highest level since late March, the Labor Department reported yesterday, adding that there was some impact from the Memorial Day holiday.

But seasonal adjustment appears to have been a problem, a Labor analyst said, noting that while an increase in unadjusted claims of 15.1%, or 45,500, had been expected, they actually rose 23.2%, or 69,715.

Analysts had expected initial jobless claims in the latest week to rise to only 370,000.

The four-week moving average for initial claims was 371,500, up 2,500 in the June 7 week.

Continuing claims for the May 31 week were up 58,000 to 3,139,000, the highest level since 3.184 million in the Feb. 7, 2004, week.

— Market News International

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