Stateside Jobless Claims Less Than Projected

The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week, pointing to tightening labour market conditions south of the border.

Figures released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department revealed initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 17,000 to a seasonally-adjusted 233,000, for the week ended Jan. 20.

Economists had forecast claims rising to 240,000 in the latest week. Claims have been volatile in recent weeks because of difficulties adjusting the data for seasonal fluctuations around year-end and the start of a new year. Unseasonably cold temperatures also had an impact on the data.