VIA CNN MONEY:
The number of Americans filing for unemployment insurance for the first time jumped for the second week in a row, according to government data released Thursday.
There were 484,000 initial jobless claims filed in the week ended April 10, up 24,000 from an unrevised 460,000 the previous week, according to the Labor Department’s weekly report.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had expected new claims to fall to 440,000 in the latest week. The number of new claims was the highest since the week ended Feb. 20, when initial claims totaled 486,000.
The Labor Department also tracks the four-week moving average of initial claims, which smoothes out volatility in the measure. That number reached 457,750 for the week, up 7,500 from the previous week’s downwardly revised average of 450,250.
The Labor Department attributes the jump in initial claims to volatility related to the Easter holiday and other so-called “administrative” factors.
“I agree with this because all of the labor market indicators are looking up” said Gus Faucher, senior economist for Moody’s Economy.com.
The number of people filing continuing claims totaled 4,639,000 in the week ended April 3, the most recent data available. That figure was up 73,000 from the preceding week’s 4,556,000 claims, and above the 4.58 million economists expected, according to Briefing.com.
The four-week moving average for continuing claims totaled 4,638,500, down 13,750 from the preceding week’s revised average of 4,652,250.
Continuing claims data exclude people whose benefits expired or those who have moved to state or federal extensions. It reflects those filing each week after their initial claim until the end of their standard benefits, which usually last 26 weeks.