Weekly initial jobless claims came in higher than anticipated Thursday morning, as the number of people filing for unemployment insurance unexpectedly rose to a five-week high.

Economists were planning on a decline in the number of filings, but claims rose by 16,000 to 442,000, from a revised level of 426,000 last week. The four-week moving average, which smooths out weekly fluctuations, rose by 3,000 to 430,500 claims.

Economists surveyed by Dow Jones and CNBC had expected the number of claims to decline by 1,000. Analysts polled by Bloomberg were looking for the number of initial claims to drop to 420,000 from the previous week's initially reported 424,000.

The labor market is generally considered weak when the level of weekly claims stays above 400,000.

The number of continuing claims fell to 3.705 million from 3.723 million a week earlier. The four-week average of continuing claims rose to 3.710 million.