NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Jobless claims rose in the United States last week, the government said Thursday, as the labor market continued its slow recovery from a long slump.
The Labor Department said 366,000 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits in the week ended Nov. 8, compared with a revised reading of 353,000 in the prior week. Economists, on average, expected 364,000 new claims, according to Briefing.com.
"The labor market's starting to improve a bit -- it's not great, but it's getting better," Joshua Feinman, chief economist at Deutsche Banc Asset Management, told CNNfn.
U.S. stock market futures reversed earlier gains after the report, pointing to a negative opening on Wall Street. Treasury bond prices rose.
Most economists consider new claims below the 400,000 threshold as a sign of an improving labor market, and last week was the sixth consecutive week of jobless claims below 400,000. New claims had fluctuated in a narrow range near the 400,000 mark since mid-July.
In Thursday's report, the four-week moving average of new claims, which irons out the volatility of the weekly data, fell to 375,250 in the week ended Nov. 8 from a revised 381,250 in the prior week.
Continued claims, the number of people out of work for a week or more, rose to 3.53 million for the week ended Nov. 1, the latest data available, from a revised 3.48 million the prior week.