New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits rose more than expected last week, government data showed on Thursday, underlining the persistent weakness in the labor market.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 457,000, the Labor Department said, reversing the prior week's decline.
Analysts polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 443,000 from the previously reported 434,000. The government revised the prior week's figure up to 437,000.
The report came a day after the Federal Reserve announced it would buy an additional $600 billion worth government bonds by the middle of next year to spur the lackluster economic recovery and boost employment.