Applications for jobless benefits in the U.S. rose unexpectedly for the week ended Jan. 22, following a sharp decline in the previous week.

Initial jobless claims in the U.S. increased by 51,000 to 454,000 compared with revised figure of 403,000 in the previous week, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Markets had expected the number to rise to 408,000.

The seasonally adjusted four-week moving average of initial claims -- considered as a more accurate measure of employment trends than the weekly number -- decreased by 15,750 to 428,750.

Also, the unemployment rate among people eligible for benefits rose 0.1 percent to 3.2 percent for the week ending Jan. 15.

While Florida witnessed the largest increase in claims with 6,646 people filing for employment benefits, New York saw the largest drop in claims at 28,714.

However, the number of people receiving jobless allowance from state and federal governments stood at 9.41 million in the week ended Jan. 8, down 223,826 from the prior week.