Today’s report from the Labor Department indicates a new development in the job market; initial jobless claims rose last week by 5,000 to a total of 245,000, surprising economists who had predicted a decrease. The revised figures from the previous week show an increase of 1,000.

Reuters suspects that several factors have contributed to the rise. As school districts take spring breaks, support staff become unemployed. Additionally, numerous layoffs have taken place in technology and other areas of the economy that are affected by interest rates.

However, the four-week moving average of claims dropped by 500 in the same week. The figures suggest that the labor market is gradually improving, although the increase in initial jobless claims has created a speed bump in the process.