Initial filings for unemployment insurance ticked higher last week but remained generally low in a tight labor market.
Jobless claims for the week ended March 25 totaled 198,000, up 7,000 from the previous period and a bit higher than the 195,000 estimate, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Though the number was slightly higher than expectations, the total indicates that companies are slow to lay off workers despite expectations that the unemployment rate will rise through the year.
Continuing claims, which run a week behind, edged up 4,000 to 1.689 million. That was below the FactSet estimate for 1.6935 million.
The four-week moving average of weekly claims, which smooths volatility in…