Initial jobless claims climbed 6% last week to the highest level since the end of January. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended April 23 rose by 25,000 to 429,000. Initial claims for the prior week were 404,000, which was revised upward a by 1,000. The Labor Department said unadjusted claims normally fall by about 18,500 during the week that includes the Good Friday holiday, when markets are closed. But unadjusted claims rose by 3,500 last week, according to Bloomberg. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected 390,000 new jobless claims last week with a range of estimates between 280,000 to 410,000. A survey projected new claims of 390,000 for last week. New claims remained higher than 400,000 for the third consecutive week. Most economists believe claims lower than that indicate the economy is expanding and jobs growth is strengthening. The four-week moving average, which is considered a less volatile indicator than weekly claims, rose by 9,250 to 408,500 from a slightly revised average of 399,250 the prior week. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained slid to 2.9% for the week ended April 16 from 3%, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended April 9 fell to about 8.19 million from nearly 8.3 million the prior week. Write to Jason Philyaw.