Jobless claims for the March 19th week increased to 265,000, an increase from 259,000 — last week’s level.

The 4-week average, at 259,750, is trending slightly lower.

Econoday analysts noted that continuing claims fell 39,000 in the week to 2.179 million with the 4-week average at 2.207 million, which when compared with the sample week of the February employment report shows a sizable 34,000 improvement.

Econoday estimated forecast claims rising to 268,000 in the latest week. The March 12th week was the sample week for the March employment report and is also the reporting week for continuing claims in this report. Continuing claims, like initial claims, have been holding at historic lows.

Initial claims for jobless benefits for unemployment benefits increased by 6,000. The latest reading is at the 55th straight under 300,000, the longest streak since 1973 when the workforce was, by comparison, much smaller.

Continuing claims fell 39,000 in the week to 2.179 million with the 4-week average at 2.207 million, which when compared with the sample week of the February employment report shows a sizable 34,000 increase.

Jobless claims peaked in January to its highest reading since July 2007. At 293,000   filings for the week ending Jan. 16, an increase of 10,000 from the previous week’s level, which was revised down by 1,000 to 283,000, the U.S. Department of Labor said.