The number of U.S. workers filing new applications for unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose last week as claims delayed from the year-end holidays were pushed through, government data showed on Thursday.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 482,000 in the week ended January 16, the Labor Department said, rising for a third straight week.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims dipping to 440,000 from a previously reported 444,000. The weekly claims data covers the survey week for the Labor Department's January payrolls report, which is scheduled for release February 5.
(Reporting by Lucia Mutikani, Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)