Rising number of Americans file claims for unemployment benefit

THE number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose higher than expected last week, suggesting little improvement in the labour market this month after employment stumbled in May.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits climbed 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 429,000, the Labor Department said yesterday.

Economists had expected claims to come in at 415,000. The four-week moving average of new jobless claims, considered a better gauge of labor market trends, was unchanged at 426,250.

A total of 7.54m Americans were claiming unemployment benefits under all programmes in the week ending 4 June.

Meanwhile, new home sales in the US fell 2.1 per cent in May.