The U.S. Labor Department released its jobless claims figures on Thursday. The number of initial jobless claims in the week ending February 27 in the U.S. increased by 6,000 to 278,000 from 272,000 in the previous week.
Analysts had expected jobless claims to decline to 271,000.
Jobless claims remained below 300,000 the 52nd straight week. This threshold is associated with the strengthening of the labour market.
Continuing jobless claims climbed by 3,000 to 2,257,000 in the week ended February 20.