Thursday, March 8, 2012
The number of Americans filing claims for jobless benefits rose to 362,000 last week, a level consistent with an improving labor market.
Applications for unemployment insurance payments increased by 8,000 in the week ended March 3, Labor Department figures showed today. Economists forecast 352,000 claims, according to the median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey. The average over the past four weeks held close to a four-year low.
The rate of firings indicates companies have grown more comfortable with headcounts and could take on additional employees when demand picks up. Economists forecast a Labor Department report tomorrow will show that employers boosted payrolls in February and the jobless rate held at an almost three-year low.
“The level of claims is still quite low,” said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets in Toronto. “I’m still encouraged by what we’ve seen in the labor market in recent months.”
This article was posted: Thursday, March 8, 2012 at 10:02 am