The numbers: Initial jobless claims rose by 23,000 to 230,000 in the week ended Jan. 8, the U.S. Labor Department said Thursday. It’s the highest level since mid-November.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would slip to 200,000.
Key details: The number of people already collecting jobless benefits plunged by 194,000 to 1.56 million. This is the lowest level of so-called continuing claims since June 1973.
Big picture: Even with the gain in claims in the latest week, economists said a downward trend remains intact. With workers scarce, companies are simply not laying off their staff.
Market reaction: U.S. stocks
were expected to open higher on Thursday as investors turn their focus to corporate earnings.