Jobless claims rose for the week ending Feb. 25, but they remain at a four-year low. The advance figure for seasonably adjusted initial claims was 362,000, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week, 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 355,000, an increase of 250 from the prior week. The number of Americans filing for continuing unemployment claims during the week ending Feb. 25 was 3,416,000, an increase of 10,000 from the preceding week. The four-week moving average was 3,417,500, a decrease of 27,500 from the prior week. Economists downplayed the increase, citing improving labor market conditions. The government’s employment situation report due Friday is expected to show that the economy posted solid job gains for the third consecutive month, Reuters reports. The total number of people claiming benefits in all programs for the week ending Feb. 18 was 7,387,648, a decrease of 111,222 from the previous week. States reported 2,929,210 2 persons claiming emergency unemployment benefits for the week ending Feb. 18, an increase of 24,377 from the prior week. The largest increases in initial jobless claims for the week ending Feb 25 were in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Michigan, New jersey, and Rhode Island. The largest decreases were in California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas.