In the week ending March the 3rd, US initial jobless claims picked unexpectedly up. Initial claims rose from an upwardly revised 354 000 to 362 000, while the consensus was looking for a broadly unchanged figure (of 352 000). The claims are now at the highest level in five weeks. The less-volatile four-week moving average rose slightly, from 354 750 to 355 000. The Labour Department said there was nothing unusual in the claims data. Continuing claims, which are reported with an extra week lag, picked slightly up. In the week ending the 25th of February, continuing claims increased from an upwardly adjusted 3 406 000 to 3 416 000, while the consensus was looking for a slight drop, to 3 400 000. While both initial and continuing claims picked slightly up and were above expectations, there is no reason to worry yet as one increase does not make a trend. Nevertheless, it will be interesting to see whether the claims will drop again in the coming weeks.