WASHINGTON, May 5 (UPI) -- First-time unemployment claims last week increased by 43,000 to a seasonally adjusted 474,000, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Thursday.
The previous week's revised figure showed 431,000 filed for jobless benefits for the first time, the department said in a release.
The four-week revised average was 431,250, an increase of 22,250 from the previous week's revised average of 409,000, the department said.
The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 3 percent for the week ending April 23, an increase of 0.1 percentage point from the previous week's unrevised rate of 2.9 percent, the data indicated.
The latest jobless report may be an indicator that the resent uptick in employment may be ending, said economist Peter Morici, a professor in the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.
"It appears the economy slowed further in April, as rising gas prices took a bite out of consumer spending, and the lack of resolve to deal with federal budget woes is curbing businesses appetite for risk taking and hiring," Morici wrote.