NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Weekly jobless claims rose last week, the government said Thursday in reporting a figure that was higher than forecasts.
New claims for state unemployment benefits rose to 312,000 in the week ended Feb. 19 from a revised 303,000 the prior week.
The number of new claims came in above the average forecast of about 308,000, according to a survey of economists by Briefing.com.
A Labor Department analyst said there were no special factors behind the rise in fresh claims, Reuters news agency reported
The four-week moving average of claims, which smoothes out wrinkles in the weekly numbers, fell for the second straight week, dropping to 308,750 from 312,000 the week before. It was the lowest since the week of Nov. 4, 2000, when the U.S. economy was expanding solidly.
In a sign that hiring may be picking up, the number of people still on unemployment fell for the second week in a row, dropping 62,000 to 2.65 million in the week ended Feb. 12, the latest numbers available.
Separately, durable goods orders fell more than expected in January.