Initial jobless claims bumped up 0.6% to a seasonally adjusted 336,000 for the week ending March 16, according to a Labor Department report released today. Although the week-to-week rise put an end to three straight weeks of declining initial unemployment claims, this week's results beat market analyst expectations of 340,000 new claims.
After dropping to a five-year low the previous week, the four-week moving average continued its downward trend by falling 2.2% to reach 339,750 initial claims. Both the most recent week's number and the moving average clocked in solidly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.
On a state-by-state basis, five states recorded decreases of more than 1,000 in their initial jobless claims for the week ending March 9 (most recent available data). New York (-7,250) and California (-6,190) led the drop, citing fewer layoffs in the services sector as the primary reason for their labor market improvement. Illinois, Kansas, and Alabama all recorded decreases of just more than 1,000. Georgia was the only state to register an increase of more than 1,000 in initial claims. The Peach State listed layoffs in manufacturing, trade, and construction among the main reasons for its 1,678 increase.
Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
More from The Motley Fool
4 Ways to Take Money From Your 401(k) or IRA Without Paying a Penalty
Typically, withdrawing from a tax-advantaged savings account before age 59 1/2 results in a 10% penalty. However, there are exceptions.
What's the Deadline to File Taxes in 2018?
Here's when your 2017 return is due. Pay attention!
What Will Strong Nerf Sales on Amazon Mean for Hasbro?
Amazon said Hasbro's Nerf N-Strike Elite Strongarm Blaster was the best-selling toy on Amazon over the holidays. That won't necessarily translate to a blockbuster quarter for the toymaker.