Initial jobless claims rose to the highest level in more than a month, the Labor Department reported Jan. 30.
Claims for the week ended Jan. 25 rose by 19,000 to 348,000, the highest since mid-December, Bloomberg News reported.
The number of claims was above analysts forecast of 330,000, according to Bloomberg.
“Weekly layoffs have been low over the past month,” Ryan Wang, an economist at HSBC Securities USA Inc., told Bloomberg. “Consumers are gradually becoming less pessimistic about the labor market.”
The four-week moving average, a less volatile measure, rose to 333,000 from 332,250 the previous week.
Continuing jobless claims for the week ended Jan. 18 fell by 16,000 to 2.99 million.