Roughly 386,000 Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending April 14, down from a revised 388,000 during the previous week, according to the Department of Labor.
The weaker than expected numbers could be a sign the recovery line is beginning to stall. Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan said the labor market isn't healing fast enough to keep consumer spending levels elevated.
"The pickup in consumer spending has outpaced income growth, which means that consumers are increasing their spending by borrowing from their savings," Duncan said in a note Thursday. "Real disposable income has been flat, and that needs to change for a higher pace of economic activity to occur."
Claims increased by more than 7,400 in Pennsylvania, the highest of any state for the first week of April, followed by a 6,500 increase in California and nearly 6,000 added in Washington.