Bloomberg (02/26/15) Victoria Stilwell
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the week ended Feb. 21 rose by 31,000 to 313,000—the biggest increase since December 2013—according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had forecast claims of 290,000. That week’s data may have been affected by the Presidents Day holiday, which fell on Feb. 16 this year, said Brian Jones, a senior economist at Societe Generale. “The total number of people collecting benefits continues to move lower,” he noted. The four-week moving average of new claims gained 11,500 to 294,500 from the week before.