New US jobless claims rise more than forecast

Suzie Neuwirth

THE NUMBER of Americans claiming for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, in a sign that the US economic recovery may be slower than initially thought.

Initial claims for jobless benefits increased by 7,000 to 343,000, according to new official data from the US Labor Department today.

Analysts had expected a smaller rise to 340,000.

There was little market reaction to the increase, which a Labor Department analyst said was not unusual. Jobless claims data can volatile in July due to factory shutdowns during the month.