WASHINGTON (2/13/15)--For the fourth time in six weeks, jobless claims topped the 300,000 mark, according to numbers released by the Employment and Training Administration (Economy.com Feb. 12).
For the week ending Feb. 7, claims jumped by 25,000 to 304,000 total, exceeding analyst expectations.
Despite the recent uptick over the past two weeks, which included a 12,000-claim increase the week prior, claims still remain low and "consistent with healthy gains in nonfarm payrolls," according to Moody's analysts.
"The increase in initial claims over the past couple of weeks doesn't rattle our confidence that the job market is strengthening, and the slack will continue to be absorbed quickly," said Scott Hoyt, Moody's analyst (Economy.com). "In fact, the gain in new filings over the past couple weeks puts them just slightly above their fourth quarter average of 289,583."
The four-week moving average for jobless claims fell to 289,750 from 293,000 during the week, the lowest number since mid-November.
Continuing claims, or those to file for unemployment insurance for at least the second straight week, fell by 51,000 for the week ending Jan. 31 to a seasonally adjusted 2.35 million (MarketWatch Feb. 12).
These types of claims have been volatile as well, however, as continuing claims rose by 11,000 the week prior after plummeting by 69,000 the week before that. The four-week moving average sits at 2.422 million.