Washington, D.C. -- A report released Thursday by the Labor Department said that applications for jobless benefits increased by 25,000 to 410,000 in the week ended Feb. 12, exceeding the 400,000 median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
The filings increase indicates that labor market will take time to develop.
The total number of people receiving unemployment insurance was little changed, while those collecting extended payments decreased.
According to a report by Bloomberg, a reduction in firings by U.S. firms is needed to keep unemployment going down. Bigger job gains are needed to boost consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of the world’s largest economy.
“Conditions in the labor market will continue to be tenuous as firms look for a sustained pickup in sales,” Maxwell Clarke, chief U.S. economist at IDEAglobal in New York, said before the report. “Claims should remain at an elevated level for some time but should continue along a gradual downward path in the months to come.”