NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - The number of Americans filing for their first week of unemployment benefits jumped sharply last week, two weeks after hitting a 2-1/2 year low below 400,000.
There were 445,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Jan. 8, up 35,000 from a revised 410,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said in a weekly report Thursday.
The figure was higher than expected. Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast initial claims to edge up to 415,000 in the latest report.
The government said 3,879,000 people filed continuing claims in the week ended Jan. 1, the most recent data available. That's down 248,000 from the preceding week's revised 4,127,000 claims.