The week ending July 16 showed an increase in unemployment claims, according to data from the United States Department of Labor.
Seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims rose by 10,000 to 418,000, making it 15 straight weeks that such applications for unemployment benefits have topped the 400,000 mark.
Reuters reports that the economists it polled expected the figure to be closer to 410,000, but were not overly surprised by the final figure.
“We’re just stuck in this trend between 410,000 and 430,000. Generally we’re just really not seeing any improvement but also not much worsening,” economist Jeffrey Greenberg with New York’s Nomura Securities told the news agency.
Over the past few months, increased layoffs have hampered any payroll growth. In general, job creation has not been strong over the past two months as well, according to Reuters.
The news source reports that for the week ending July 2, 7.33 million people were claiming jobless benefits.
The unemployment rate for June was 9.2 percent as only 18,000 jobs were added, which is not enough to drastically affect the figure.