Initial filings for unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose last week, a possible hint that the rapid job growth seen in the first half of 2021 could face hurdles in the months ahead, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

First-time jobless claims totaled 373,000 for the week ended July 3, compared with the 350,000 Dow Jones estimate. The previous week’s level was revised up by 7,000 from 364,000 to 371,000.

The level of continuing claims, the measure of ongoing benefits, decreased to 3.34 million, down 145,000 from the previous week’s revised level.

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