Adding to recent concerns about the strength of the labor market, the Labor Department released its report on initial jobless claims in the week ended March 28th on Thursday, showing an unexpected increase in first time claims for unemployment benefits.

The report showed that initial jobless claims rose to 669,000 from the previous week's revised figure of 657,000. Economists had expected jobless claims to edge down to 650,000 from the 652,000 originally reported for the previous week.

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