Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. last week fell less than expected, according to official data released on Thursday.
The number of individuals filing for initial jobless benefits in the week ended Dec. 1 fell by 4,000 to a seasonally adjusted 231,000 the Labor Department said.
Analysts had expected claims to decline to 226,000 last week.
Figures for the prior week were revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
The four-week moving average increased to 228,000 last week. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Continuing jobless claims, which measures the number of people still receiving benefits after an initial week of aid, came in at 1.63 million.