Fill in the blank: 'Jobless claims rise more than _____________.'

You win a lifetime free subscription - or, at least until they go out of business - for the New York Times, if you guessed the missing word is "expected."


New claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, a government report showed on Thursday, suggesting little improvement in the labor 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. The prior week's figure was revised up to 420,000.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims to edge up to 415,000 from a previously reported count of 414,000.

The claims report covers the survey period for the government's closely watched data on nonfarm payrolls for June.

Claims increased 15,000 between the May and June survey periods, implying little or no gains in nonfarm payrolls this month after a modest 54,000 increase in May.

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