Initial Jobless Claims Rise 2.7% After Previous Week's Big Spike


Initial jobless claims bumped up 2.7% to 379,000 for the week ending Dec. 14, according to a Labor Department report released today. That's the highest number since March.

After jumping a revised 23% the previous week, this newest report pushed past analysts' expectations by 42,000 claims.

Despite the second week of increases, pundits caution against examining weekly shifts too closely during the holiday season, as numbers tend to be abnormally volatile compared to other times of the year.

Source: Author, data from Labor Department.

However, from a more long-term perspective, a 4% increase in the four-week moving average to 345,500 initial claims continues to point to a potential upward trend. Both the latest week's claims and the four-week average fall significantly below 400,000, a cutoff point that economists consider a sign of an improving labor market.

On a state-by-state basis, only Ohio recorded a decrease of more than 1,000 initial claims (down 1,100) for the week ending Dec. 7 (most recent available data).

For the same period, a whopping 28 states registered increases of more than 1,000 initial claims, most likely due in large part to the aforementioned holiday volatility. California claimed the top spot with 21,900 more initial claims, primarily due to service and manufacturing layoffs. New York (14,300) and Pennsylvania (14,000) followed, both citing construction and transportation layoffs as a major reason for their claims rises.

-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.


The article Initial Jobless Claims Rise 2.7% After Previous Week's Big Spike originally appeared on

You can follow Justin Loiseau on Twitter, @TMFJLo, and on Motley Fool CAPS, @TMFJLo.Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Originally published