This is the first time first-time jobless claims, an indication of layoffs, have risen above 350,000 since mid-February.
Initial claims for unemployment benefits increased last week by a more-than-expected 16,000 to a preliminary reading of 357,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday. This is the first time first-time jobless claims, an indication of layoffs, has risen above 350,000 since mid-February.The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 343,000, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average of 340,750. The advance number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending March 16 was 3,050,000, a decrease of 27,000 from the preceding week. The 4-week moving average was 3,072,500, a decrease of 13,000 from the prior week. States reported 1,906,324 persons claiming emergency unemployment compensation in the week ending March 9, an increase of 125,481 from the prior week. There were 2,812,666 claimants in the comparable week in 2012. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 9 was 5,455,757, an increase of 86,750 from the previous week. There were 7,158,470 claimants in the comparable week in 2012. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 23 were in California, Mississippi, North Dakota, Puerto Rico and Virginia. The largest decreases were in Georgia, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.