U.S. weekly jobless claims jump more than expected

STORY: The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week surged to a near two-year high.

Data from the Labor Department on Thursday showed that 261,000 new claims were filed for the week ended June 3rd - an increase of 28,000 from the prior week.

That's more than economists polled by Reuters had expected.

For some economists, it’s another sign of cracks forming in the labor market as the economy feels the full impact of the Federal Reserve’s rate-hiking cycle, it’s most aggressive in decades.

Many believed layoffs were spreading from interest rate-sensitive sectors such as technology and finance to other segments of the economy.

But the labor market is only slowing gradually. The government reported last week that the economy added 339,000 jobs in May.

And the unemployment rate, while rising to a seven-month high of 3.7% in April, remains low by historical standards.