By Ovunc Kutlu
ANKARA (AA) – The number of Americans filing first-time unemployment claims rose 16,000 to 744,000 last week, according to the Labor Department on Thursday.
Analysts expected 680,000 for the week ending April 3, while the previous week was revised up 9,000 from 719,000 to 728,000.
It marked the second consecutive week for claims higher than the 700,000 level after they posted their lowest level during the pandemic by coming in at the 684,000 mark for the week ending March 20.
The world's largest economy still has 9.7 million unemployed workers after adding 916,000 jobs in March, the agency said last Friday.
While the Federal Reserve sees the US economy gaining substantially, central bank's officials want to see more progress before changing monetary policy, according to minutes released on Wednesday.
"It would likely be some time until substantial further progress toward the Committee’s maximum-employment and price-stability goals would be realized," the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) said in its March meeting.
"Asset purchases would continue at least at the current pace until then," it added.