FXstreet.com (Barcelona) - Initial claims for unemployment benefit have increased well above the experts expectations in the week of April 26, while continuing claims moved to the highest levels in almost four years, according to the latest labour report from the US Labor Department.

The amount of workers applying for their unemployment benefits for the first time has risen by 35,000 in the week of March 26, to a total amount of 375,000, up from the 340,000 revised claims posted in the previous week. Market analysts had advanced a milder increase to 360,000. The four week moving average has declined by 6,500 to 363,750 claims.

Continuing claims have risen by 74K to 3,019,000 in the week of April the 19th, the highest level of continuing claims seen since April 2004.