Initial jobless claims increased to a seasonally adjusted 482,000 for the week ending Jan. 16, the largest number of initial claims since November, the Labor Department reported yesterday.
The jump was attributed to Monday’s federal holiday and an “administrative backload” at the state level lingering from the holiday season.
Continuing claims decreased for the fifth consecutive week to 4.599 million for the week ending Jan. 9, the lowest level in a year.
Continuing claims for the week ending Jan. 2 were revised higher to 4.617 million from 4.596 million.
Economists expected 440,000 initial jobless claims and 4.6 million continuing claims, according to the median estimate from Thomson Reuters.
The four-week moving average for initial claims, a less volatile figure, increased to 448,250 from 441,250 in the previous week.