The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid unexpectedly edged higher last week, stoking fears of a stalled economic recovery even as a separate report showed record U.S. exports in April.
Initial claims for state jobless benefits increased 1,000 to 427,000, the Labor Department said. However, economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dropping to 415,000 from a previously reported count of 422,000.
The rise kept first-time claims perched above the 400,000 mark for the ninth week in a row. Analysts normally associate a level below that with steady job growth.
Full story: Jobless claims rise, trade gap narrows