Jobless claims rose 6.5% to 410,000 last week
The number of new jobless claims rose about 6.5% last week matching most analysts' estimates and climbing back over 400,000. The Labor Department said the seasonally adjusted figure of actual initial claims for the week ended Feb. 12 increased by 25,000 to 410,000. Initial claims for the prior week were 385,000, which was revised upward a few thousand by the Labor Department. Analysts surveyed by Econoday expected 410,000 new jobless claims with a range of estimates between 385,000 to 450,000. A Briefing.com survey projected new claims of 415,000 for last week. Economists polled by MarketWatch projected claims to come in at 400,000. New claims once again were higher than 400,000. Most economists believe claims lower than that 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, rose by 1,750 to 417,750 from a slightly revised average of 416,000 the prior week. The seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate remained to 3.1% for the week ended Feb. 5, according to the Labor Department. The total number of people receiving some sort of federal unemployment benefits for the week ended Jan. 29 fell to about 9.25 million from 9.4 million the prior week. Write to Jason Philyaw.