The Labor Department says that initial claims for unemployment aid rose by 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 457,000 for the week ending Oct. 30. Wall Street analysts polled by Thomson Reuters had expected a smaller rise.
The increase comes after claims fell in four of the previous five weeks. Those drops had brought claims to their lowest level since July and raised hopes the job market was improving.
Instead, claims have risen back above the 450,000 level they have fluctuated around all year. They will need to drop below 425,000 to signal sustained job gains.