Four-week moving average points to improving jobs market
Initial claims for unemployment benefits last week ticked upward 2,000 to a preliminary reading of 336,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday. The four-week moving average, a less volatile number that flattens out week-to-week fluctuations in the data, was 339,750, a decrease of 7,500 from the previous week’s revised average of 347,250, and the lowest level since February 2008. The four-week average has fallen nearly 15 percent since November, a trend that has coincided with the improvement in the job market, Timemagazine reports. The advance number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending March 9 was 3,053,000, an increase of 5,000 from the preceding week. The 4-week moving average was 3,076,250, a decrease of 28,000 from the prior week. States reported 1,780,843 persons claiming emergency unemployment compensation in the week ending March 2, a decrease of 250,853 from the previous week. There were 7,284,741 claimants in the comparable week in 2012. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending March 2 was 5,369,007, a decrease of 250,853 from the previous week. There were 7,284,741 persons claiming benefits in all programs in the comparable week of 2012. The largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 9 were in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Texas. The largest decreases were in Alabama, California, Illinois, Kansas and New York.