Unexpected Gain for U.S. Jobless Claims

Numbers released Thursday by the U.S. Labor Department show first-time filings for unemployment insurance jumped last week in a sign of continuing strife for the labour market.

New claims totaled 861,000, the highest level in a month and above the Dow Jones estimate of 773,000.

The total for the week ended Feb. 13 only marked a slight uptick, however, from the 848,000 a week ago. That number was revised up from the initially reported 793,000.

Continuing claims declined again, edging lower to just below 4.5 million, a drop of 64,000. That data runs a week behind the headline first-time claims total.