Who’s ready for this week’s unemployment applications aid report?

Applications for jobless benefits rose by 16,000 for the week ending March 23, bringing the total to 357,000, up from last week’s revised figure of 341,000, the Labor Department announced on Thursday.

This is the sharpest increase in four months.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, increased by 2,250, bringing the total to 343,000, up from the previous average of 340,750.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4 percent for the week ending March 16, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate,” the report notes.

“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 16 was 3,050,000, a decrease of 27,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,077,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,072,500, a decrease of 13,000 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,085,500,” it adds.

Unemployment Aid Applications Rise For Second Week In a Row

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 16 were California (+3,007), Virginia (+1,165), Mississippi (+485), and North Dakota (+54).

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania (-2,497), New York (-2,116), Georgia (-2,023), North Carolina (-1,340), and Ohio (-1,192) posted the biggest decreases in initial claims.

[Note from the Labor Department:This week's release reflects the annual revision to the weekly unemployment claims seasonal adjustment factors. The seasonal adjustment factors used for the UI Weekly Claims data from 2008 forward, along with the resulting seasonally adjusted values for initial claims and continuing claims, have been revised.]

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Front page photo courtesy Getty Images.