The US Department of Labor reported last week that new applications for jobless benefits rose to 384,000, an increase of 25,000 from the previous week.
That was a much bigger gain than analysts had been expecting and indicated that the labor market still remains under pressure. Last week, the government reported that the unemployment rate jumped to 5.5 percent, up from 5 percent in April. That was the biggest one-month gain in 22 years.
The latest figures come after the government reported the nation's unemployment rate jumped to 5.5 percent in May - the biggest monthly rise since 1986 - as nervous employers cut 49,000 jobs last month.