FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - The amount of laid off workers applying for unemployment benefits for the first time has increased in the United states to a larger than expected extent in the week of March 15th, according to data released by the US Labor Department.

Initial jobless claims rose by 22,000 in the aforementioned week to 378,000 from revised 356,000 claims in the previous week, market analysts expected a milder increase to 357,000. The less volatile four week moving average registered a 6,000 increase to 365,250 claims, from 359,250. claims on the previous week.

Continuing claims rose by 32,000 to 2,865,000 in the week of March 8, from the revised 2,833,000 claims posted in the previous week, while the four week moving average posted a 19,750 jump to 2,832,250 claims.