The tally of newly laid-off workers seeking jobless benefits rose more than expected, after falling for five straight weeks.
The Labor Department says initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 474,000. That was above analysts' expectations of 460,000.
A Labor Department analyst says claims were partly inflated by a surge following the Thanksgiving holiday week, when many state unemployment offices were closed.
The number of people continuing to claim benefits fell by 303,000 to 5.16 million, the lowest level since February. The total unemployment benefit rolls have fallen in 11 of the past 12 weeks.
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