Jobless claims stick at nearly four-year low

@CNNMoney February 23, 2012: 8:42 AM ET
jobless claims

Job seekers attend a career fair in New York City.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- First-time claims for unemployment benefits were unchanged -- at a relatively low level -- last week, in another sign of strength for the U.S. economy.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that 351,000 people filed for initial unemployment benefits in the week ended Feb. 18, unchanged from the previous week's revised 351,000 claims.

Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had predicted 355,000 new claims would be filed.

About 3.4 million people filed for their second week of unemployment benefits or more in the week ended Feb. 11, the most recent data available.

Jobless claims are considered a key indicator of the job market's strength. The number can be volatile from week to week, so economists often look at the four-week moving average to smooth out choppiness.

Lately, that figure has been on a gradual decline. Last week, it fell to 359,000, down from the previous week's average of 366,000.

Earlier this month, the Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate had dipped to 8.3% in January, as the national economy gained 243,000 jobs. To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.12%4.00%
15 yr fixed3.14%3.00%
5/1 ARM3.25%3.01%
30 yr refi4.17%4.06%
15 yr refi3.21%3.09%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Economic Calendar
Latest ReportNext Update
Home pricesAug 28
Consumer confidenceAug 28
GDPAug 29
Manufacturing (ISM)Sept 4
JobsSept 7
Inflation (CPI)Sept 14
Retail sales Sept 14
CNNMoney Sponsors

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer.

Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved.

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved.

Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2014 and/or its affiliates.