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Weekly jobless claims rise more than expected
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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, but the underlying trend remained consistent with solid labor market conditions.
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Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 219,000 for the week ended Feb. 22, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Data for the prior week was revised to show 1,000 more applications received than previously reported.
Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims increasing to 212,000 in the latest week. The Labor Department said only claims for Alabama were estimated last week.
The four-week moving average of initial claims, considered a better measure of labor market trends as it irons out week-to-week volatility, rose 500 to 209,750 last week.