Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Initial Jobless Claims Jump 4.2%

By Justin Loiseau - Feb 27, 2014 at 11:26AM

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

Analysts expected a smaller number, but longer-term trends are slightly steadier.

Initial jobless claims increased 4.2% to 348,000 for the week ending Feb. 22, according to a Labor Department report released today.

After falling a revised 1.5% the previous week, this newest report dashed analyst projections that new claims would hover around 335,000 claims. Economists said that winter storms two weeks ago may have caused some people to delay submitting their applications until this week, temporarily boosting the figures. 

Source: Author, data from Labor Department, 

From a more long-term perspective, however, the four-week moving average flatlined at 338,250 initial claims, suggesting that the labor market isn't making any major moves. 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, 16 states recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims for the week ending Feb. 15 (most recent available data). Georgia made the largest improvements (-7,760), citing fewer manufacturing and construction layoffs as the main reason for the dip. 

For the same period, just four states registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims. Services sector layoffs helped push California's initial claims up 5,830, while Michigan saw a 2,130-claim bump due primarily to wholesale-trade layoffs.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report. 


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 service.

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 05/29/2022.

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.