U.S. Labor Department: Weekly Jobless Claims Increase to 336,000, Still Beating Expectations

by Colonel on March 21, 2013

“The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits edged higher last week, but a trend reading dropped to its lowest in five years and pointed to ongoing healing in the labor market.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 2,000 to a seasonally adjusted 336,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected 342,000 first-time applications last week.

The four-week moving average for new claims, a measure of labor market trends, fell 7,500 to 339,750, the lowest level since February 2008.

That could bode well for job growth in March.

Last week’s claims data covered the survey period for the government’s monthly tally of nonfarm jobs. The four-week average of new claims fell 6 percent relative to the survey week in February, when nonfarm payrolls increased by 236,000.

” — Copyright 2013 Thomson Reuters

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