Jobless claims bounce off lows

@CNNMoney March 8, 2012: 8:48 AM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- First-time claims for unemployment benefits ticked higher last week, slightly dimming prospects for Friday's employment report.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that 362,000 people filed for initial unemployment benefits in the week ended March 3, up from the previous week's revised 354,000 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. 25, 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 to the four-week moving average as a broader gauge.

Lately, that figure has been on a gradual decline. But last week it rose slightly to 355,000, up from the previous week's average of 354,750.

The worse-than-expected report on initial claims comes one day before the government's monthly employment report is scheduled to be released.

A CNNMoney survey of 19 economists predicts that the economy added 210,000 jobs in February, down from January, when 243,000 jobs were added to payrolls.

Most of the gain will likely come from the private sector, where the prediction is for an addition of 225,000 jobs.

The unemployment rate is expected to remain unchanged at 8.3%  To top of page

Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.01%4.03%
15 yr fixed3.12%2.97%
5/1 ARM3.11%2.99%
30 yr refi4.04%4.09%
15 yr refi3.15%3.05%
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.