EW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The number of Americans filing for initial unemployment insurance rose last week, the government said Thursday.
There were 480,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended Jan. 30, the Labor Department said in a weekly report. This is the highest level since Dec. 12 and up 8,000 from an upwardly revised 472,000 the previous week.
Economists were expecting claims to drop to 455,000, according to a consensus estimate from Briefing.com.
The 4-week moving average of initial claims was 468,750, up 11,750 from the previous week's revised average of 457,000.
"My general outlook had been that the worst of the layoffs were behind us," said Tim Quinlan, an economic analyst at Wells Fargo. "But this shows us that employers still have more fat to trim."
Continuing claims: The government said 4,602,000 people filed continuing claims in the week ended Jan. 23, the most recent data available. That was up 2,000 from the previous week's revised 4,600,000 claims.
The 4-week moving average for ongoing claims fell by 51,250 to 4,617,500 from the previous week's revised 4,668,750.
But the drop may just mean that more filers are dropping off those rolls into extended benefits.
Jobless claims rise to 480,000 in latest week - Feb. 4, 2010