The numbers: Initial jobless claims rose 7,000 to 218,000, in the week ending Nov. 25, the Labor Department said Thursday.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would rise 11,000 to 220,000.
Last week, claims rose a revised 22,000 to 211,000. That compared with the initial estimate of a drop of 24,000 to 209,000.
Key details: The number of people already collecting jobless benefits in the week ending Nov. 18 rose by 86,000 to 1.927 million. That’s the highest level since November 2021.
Big picture: Jobless claims are volatile around the holiday season and economists are cautious about reading too much into the data. The rise in continuing claims suggests it is harder for workers who have been laid off to find new jobs. That fits with the description of a softer labor market in the Fed’s Beige Book survey released Wednesday.