(Bloomberg) -- Applications for US unemployment benefits rose slightly last week to a level that’s still consistent with resilient demand for labor.

Initial jobless claims edged up by 2,000 to 232,000 in the week ended May 27, a Labor Department report showed Thursday. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey of economists called for 235,000 claims.

Continuing claims, or the number of people who have already filed an initial application and are now claiming unemployment benefits, were little changed at 1.8 million in the week ended May 20. This figure can offer insight into how quickly out-of-work Americans are able to find a new job.

On an unadjusted basis, initial applications also rose slightly, led by Ohio and New York. Weeks of data during May were plagued by fraudulent filings in Massachusetts.

The data can be volatile on a week-to-week basis, especially around holidays, and the latest figures are for the week leading up to Memorial Day. The four-week average of initial claims, which smooths out some of the choppiness, fell to 229,500, the lowest since the period ended March 11.

A pickup in initial applications since the end of January shows a job market that is only gradually cooling. Figures Wednesday showing an unexpected increase in April job openings, along with unemployment near generational lows, continue to point to durable labor demand.

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On Friday, the government is forecast to report payrolls increased by nearly 200,000 in May, representing a moderation in the pace of hiring yet solid enough to sustain consumer spending. 

An earlier report Thursday showed US companies added more jobs than forecast in May, according to ADP Research Institute.

At the same time, separate data showed layoff announcements so far this year have exceeded those for all of 2022.

--With assistance from Chris Middleton.

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