Labor Department data showed on Thursday Initial unemployment claims increased by 14,000 to 202,000 last week.
The median estimate called for 196,000 applications. This is likely a blip in what’s otherwise a tight and recovering labor market.
The combination of shrinking savings and decades-high inflation is raising the financial incentive to work.
Unemployment Claims have been trending downward for most of the year together with declining Covid-19 cases, as employers are desperately trying to retain workers and attract new ones.
On Friday, forecast will show the U.S. added about half a million jobs in March and the unemployment rate fell to 3.7%.
A separate report on Wednesday showed U.S. companies added 455,000 jobs this month.
On Thursday a separate report showed U.S. inflation-adjusted consumer spending declined in February, suggesting the fastest pace of price increases in four decades.
California, Michigan and Ohio were states registering the biggest increases in unadjusted claims. On an unadjusted basis, initial claims increased to 195,460 last week.