Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Initial Jobless Claims Jump 5.8%

By Justin Loiseau – Jan 30, 2014 at 10:49AM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

Longer-term trends point to slow improvement.

Initial jobless claims jumped 5.8% to 348,000 for the week ending Jan. 25, according to a Labor Department report released today. That's an increase of 19,000 claims from the previous week. 

After increasing a revised 1.2% the previous week, the latest count came in well above analyst expectations of 327,000 claims. 

Source: Author, data from Labor Department. 

From a more long-term perspective, however, a slight 0.2% bump in the four-week moving average to 330,000 initial claims continues to indicate a slowly improving labor market compared to December's numbers. Both the latest week's claims and the four-week average fall significantly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.

On a state-by-state basis, a whopping 29 states recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ending Jan. 18 (most recent available data), indicating substantial nationwide improvement. Pennsylvania led the decrease with 16,600 fewer claims, citing fewer services, construction, and transportation layoffs. 

For the same period, only California and Oregon registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims. California pointed to services and agriculture layoffs as a primary push behind its 11,700-claim increase, while Oregon provided no comment for its bump of 1,240 claims. 


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.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 11/28/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.