US weekly jobless claims jump to 360,000 say Labor Department

WASHINGTON (AFP) - New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits jumped sharply last week after coming in unexpectedly low for several weeks, the Labor Department said Thursday.

Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, rose to 360,000 in the week ending May 11, up 32,000 from the previous week's revised figure.

The four-week moving average increased 1,250 to 339,250, but was well below the 372,750 figure for a year earlier.