Jobless Claims Hold Near 15-Year Low

The word unemployed changed to employed on torn paper

By Lucia Mutikani

(Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose marginally last week, staying near a 15-year low in a sign that the labor market continues to strengthen despite moderate economic growth.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 for the week ended May 2, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Claims for the prior week were unrevised at 262,000, which was the lowest reading since April 2000. Claims have been below 300,000 for nine weeks. That threshold is usually associated with a strengthening labor market.