US jobless claims surged to over 300,000 last week: report

A woman balances a load of recyclable cans and bottles she collected from trash cans to sell in New York's borough of downtown Manhattan on Jan 30, 2015. New claims for The United States unemployment insurance jumped last week to back above the 300,0
A woman balances a load of recyclable cans and bottles she collected from trash cans to sell in New York's borough of downtown Manhattan on Jan 30, 2015. New claims for The United States unemployment insurance jumped last week to back above the 300,000 line, the Labor Department reported Thursday. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - New claims for The United States unemployment insurance jumped last week to back above the 300,000 line, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, rose to 304,000 in the week to February 7, up 25,000 from the previous week.

The Labor Department said there were no specific reasons for the surge.

The four-week moving average, nevertheless, fell by 3,250 to 289,750, holding close to the trend range since August.

Last week the department reported that the jobs market remained healthy. The world's largest economy added a better-than-expected 257,000 jobs in January and the department revised upward the strong numbers of the prior two months.

The jobless rate was 5.7 per cent.