Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Dip by 15,000 Putting Jobless Numbers at Lowest Since Jan. 1

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In an encouraging sign, for the week ending March 12, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims was 214,000, a decrease of 15,000 from the previous week’s revised unemployment level, and the lowest level since the week ending January 1, according to the Labor Department.

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The previous week’s claim level was revised up by 2,000 from 227,000 to 229,000.

Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast initial jobless claims to total a seasonally adjusted 220,000 for the week, according to MarketWatch.

In comparison, there were 755,000 claims in the corresponding week a year ago.

Ashley Paterson, CEO of Healthy Hippo, told GOBankingRates that “this is a sign that our economy is going in the right direction and that we are heading into a year of solid job gains.”

“As an entrepreneur, I believe that this positive trend will continue and we will keep seeing an increased demand of labor given the huge appetite of people to go back to their “normal lives” after what we have experienced in the last two years,” she added.

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California, Michigan and Ohio saw the largest increases in claims for the week, according to Labor Department data.

The largest increases in initial claims for the previous week were in New York (+16,157), California (+5,470), Kentucky (+3,148), New Jersey (+2,381), and Ohio (+1,117), while the largest decreases were in Massachusetts (-2,315), Pennsylvania (-2,130), Missouri (-1,378), Tennessee (-1,356), and Rhode Island (-1,224), according to the data.

For that week, New York saw the most layoffs in the transportation and warehousing, accommodation and food services, and educational services industries, while California saw the most in the services and agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry, the Labor Department said.

Last week’s four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, was 223,000, a decrease of 8,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 500 from 231,250 to 231,750.

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Also reflecting encouraging signs, despite a tight labor market, total nonfarm payroll employment rose by a surprisingly strong 678,000 in February, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Friday, March 4. This was well above the 440,000 jobs economists forecasted, as GOBankingRates previously reported

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.

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