Bloomberg (02/21/13) Lorraine Woellert; Alex Kowalski
The number of people who applied for new unemployment benefits jumped 20,000 to 362,000 in the week ended Feb. 16, the U.S. Department of Labor reported today, keeping claims at a level that suggests slow but steady improvement in the nation’s labor market. The median forecast of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an increase to 355,000. The number of applications in three states and the District of Columbia was estimated because of the holiday-shortened week. The average of new claims over the past month rose by 8,000 to 360,750, putting it at the highest level since the first week of the year.