New U.S. claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly climbed to 424,000 last week from a revised 414,000 in the prior week, pointing to a painfully slow improvement in the nation's job markets.
Corporate profits in the U.S. unexpectedly contracted in the first quarter to record their first decline in more than two years and the economy grew at the same pedestrian pace as previously estimated, a government report showed on Thursday.
The Labor Department on Thursday revised the prior week's claims number up from an originally reported 409,000. Economists surveyed by Reuters had forecast that claims last week would decline to 400,000, rather than rise.
Gross domestic product growth was unrevised at annual rate of 1.8 percent, the department said in its second estimate, below economists' expectations for a 2.1 percent pace.