jobless

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, but probably not enough to suggest the labor market recovery was taking a step back.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 16,000 to a seasonally adjusted 357,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Still, they remained in the middle of their range for this year.

The prior week’s claims figure was revised to show 5,000 more applications than previously reported. Economists polled by Reuters had expected first-time applications last week to rise to 340,000.

Last week’s report contained annual benchmark revisions to the series and the model used by the government to iron out seasonal fluctuations.