The Federal Reserve will not end its mortgage-bond buying spree until the labor market improves.
Unfortunately, this week's jobless claims fell short of those expectations.
Jobless claims grew by 18,000 claims to 354,000 filings for the week ending June 15, the U.S. Department of Labor said.
The uptick arrives on the heels of an improving week in which jobless claims reached a revised level of 336,000 filings.
Meanwhile, the 4-week moving average ticked up to 348,250 filings, rising 2,500 filings from the prior week's revised average of 345,750.
"Initial claims had been moving lower but suddenly turned higher in an unwanted week," analysts with Econoday said.
They added, "There are no special factors to help explain the jump in initial claims during the latest week, one that does not support the outlook, as expressed yesterday by the Federal Open Market Committee Meeting, for improvement in the labor market, at least not for June."
In Wednesday's report of FOMC meeting minutes, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke emphasized the Fed's plan to taper off mortgage-backed securities when the economy and employment stabilize for the long term.
One week of rising jobless claims does not spell doom for the economy with economists generally taking a longer view on unemployment numbers.
Still, in the wake of the FOMC meeting minutes, the economy was hoping for an optimistic report to see if the Fed will eventually get the employment outlook it's looking for before ending quantitative easing.