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Jump In Jobless Claims Surprises Forecasters

Posted on February 27, 2014

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, but the underlying trend suggested no shift in labor market conditions.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 14,000 to a seasonally adjusted 348,000, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Claims for the prior week were revised to show 2,000 fewer applications received than previously reported.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast first-time applications for jobless benefits slipping to 335,000 in the week ended Feb. 22, which included the Presidents Day holiday.

While last week’s increase pushed them to the upper end of their range so far this year, it probably does not signal labor market weakness as claims tend to be volatile around federal holidays.

The four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market conditions as it irons out week-to-week volatility, was unchanged at 338,250.

A Labor Department analyst said no states were estimated and there were no special factors affecting the state level data.

An unusually cold winter has clouded the labor market picture, with job growth braking sharply in December and recovering only marginally in January.

A third month of weak hiring is expected after snowstorms slammed the densely populated regions of the country during the survey week for February nonfarm payrolls.

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7 thoughts on “Jump In Jobless Claims Surprises Forecasters

  1. Oh, it's because of an unusually cold winter. Next it will be an unusually wet or dry spring. Followed by an extra hot or cool summer. And on. And on. The economy sucks. The government is killing jobs and hope. There, that is as plain as I can say it. If you can't see it you have to be drinking Obama's kool-aid. See my blog at http://cranky-conservative.blogspot.com

  2. Jeanne Stotler says:

    Not to speak of the fact that they cook the numbers, don't count those who are not eligible for unemployment or benefits have expired, this is a really false number, between 15% and 25% of the country is either unemployed or working part-time jobs.

  3. I want a b.o. supporter to tell me 3 ways we are better off now than 5 years ago…..okay, 3 is an exaggeration, name 1!

  4. Another Libertarian says:

    As a way of tracking the changeover from unemployment to leaving the labor force, how many new welfare applications are there each week in the US?

  5. Excuses don't feed the bulldog Mr. President. Neither do racist Progressives pretending to be "enlightened" by excusing a mediocrity residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

  6. Wow, the "economic experts" are surprised again by bad economic news. Maybe they aren't the "experts" they claim to be. Anyone with a lick of sense can connect the dots between increased regulation, increased taxes, increased labor costs, increased medical costs for businesses and an increase in unemployment claims. The only mystery that remains is how the "press" doesn't see thru the garbage the alleged economic experts are slinging. They obviously aren't experts and the press obviously aren't journalists. The people passing themselves off as economic experts and journalists these days are merely mouthpieces reading a government supplied script, ever notice how all the reports use the same words?

  7. Lorraine E says:

    Last time I checked Government Shadow Statistics the true unemployment rate was 24%.