The numbers: Initial jobless claims rose 18,000 to 185,000 in the week ended April 9, the Labor Department said Thursday. Claims had matched a 54-year low in the prior week.
Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had estimated new claims would rise to 172,000.
Key details: The number of people already collecting economic benefits, known as continuing claims fell 48,000 to 1.48 million. These claims are reported with a one-week lag.
Big picture: Economists say that jobless claims are flattening out at a very low level.
On Wednesday, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, a labor-market expert, said that by many metrics, the U.S. labor market is as tight right now since it has been in her lifetime.
Market reaction: Stocks
were set to open mixed on Thursday.