Jobless claims up to 408,000 last week
Initial jobless claims increased 2.2% last week, climbing back over 400,000. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended Aug. 13 rose by 9,000 to 408,000 from 399,000 the previous week, which was revised upward 4,000. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected 400,000 new jobless claims last week with a range of estimates between 391,000 and 420,000. Most economists believe weekly jobless claims lower than 400,000 indicate the economy is expanding and jobs growth is strengthening. The four-week moving average, which is considered a less volatile indicator than weekly claims, declined by 3,500 to 402,500 from the prior week's 406,000. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate for the week ended Aug. 6 stayed flat at 2.9%, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended July 30 fell to about 7.3 million from 7.48 million the prior week. Write to Jason Philyaw.