Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The number of new filed claims for unemployment benefits in the U.S. climbed last week, the highest level in over a month.
In the week ended Jan. 25, jobless claims increased by 19,000 to 348,000, which also covered the Martin Luther King holiday, according to the Labor Department report released Thursday in Washington. The reading was the highest since the middle of December. The median forecast of 55 economists called for a reading of 330,000, according to data compiled by Bloomberg News.
The Labor Department said no special factors impacted the results, though economists say it was difficult to make seasonal adjustments at this time of the year due to the holidays and weather.
The four-week average of claims, considered a less volatile gauge compared with the weekly figure, climbed to 333,000 from 332,250 in the previous period.
In the week ended Jan. 18, the report showed the number of continuing unemployment-benefit claims, which are received by workers for more than one week and are reported with a one-week lag, gained by 16,000 to 2,991,000.
The jobless rate among Americans who are eligible for benefits remained steady at 2.3 percent, today’s report showed.
Four states and territories reported a decrease in claims, while forty-nine posted an increase. The data is reported with a one-week lag.