Initial jobless claims for the February 12 week rose a steep 25,000 to 410,000.

However, claims have been volatile in recent weeks. The latest jump followed a 34,000

drop the prior week and a 38,000 fall the week before that. Off and on severe winter

weather has played a role in the volatility. The four-week average rose 1,750 in

the latest week to 417,750 to show no significant change from mid-January.

New unemployment claims are compiled weekly to show the number of individuals

who filed for unemployment insurance for the first time. An increasing (decreasing)

trend suggests a deteriorating (improving) labor market. The four-week moving

average of new claims smoothes out weekly volatility


Data Source: Haver Analytics
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