(Adds continued claims, background)
WASHINGTON, June 9 The number of Americans
filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose
last week, according to a report on Thursday that could
reinforce fears the labor market recovery has stalled.
Initial claims for state jobless benefits increased 1,000
to 427,000, the Labor Department said. However, economists
polled by Reuters had forecast claims dropping to 415,000 from
a previously reported count of 422,000.
The rise kept first-time claims perched above the 400,000
mark for the ninth week in a row. Analysts normally associate a
level below that with steady job growth.
Fueling concerns about job creation, the U.S. government
said on Friday the U.S. unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1
percent in May while nonfarm employers added a paltry 54,000
workers to their payrolls.
The number of people still receiving benefits under regular
state programs after an initial week of aid slipped to 3.68
million in the week ended May 28 from 3.75 million. Economists
had expected so-called continuing claims to edge down to 3.70
million from the previously reported 3.71 million.
(Reporting by Lisa Lambert, Editing by Neil Stempleman)