New applications for state unemployment benefits rose last week but remain near half-century lows.
Initial jobless claims rose to a seasonally adjusted 214,000, up 7,000 from the previous week, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Ec0nomists had expected claims to fall to 206,000.
The four-week moving average of initial claims rose to 209,500. The four-week average is considered by many economists a better gauge of the economy because it smoothes out week-to-week volatility.