Applications for jobless benefits increased by 8,000 for the week ending Feb. 8, bringing the total to 339,000, up from last week’s revised figure of 331,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.
The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, increased by 3,500, bringing the total to 336,750, down from the previous unrevised average of 333,250.
“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3 percent for the week ending February 1, unchanged from the prior week's unrevised rate,” the Labor Department report reads.
“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending February 1 was 2,953,000, a decrease of 18,000 from the preceding week's revised level of 2,971,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,969,750, a decrease of 17,250 from the preceding week's revised average of 2,987,000,” the report adds.
The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending February 1 were Wisconsin (+5,041), New York (+4,830), Pennsylvania (+2,448), New Jersey (+1,853), and Ohio (+1,780).
Meanwhile, California (-9,631), Georgia (-2,558), Indiana (-2,444), Michigan (-2,411), and Florida (-1,387) posted the biggest decreases in initial claims.
"A total of 3.52 million Americans received benefits as of Jan. 25 - the latest data available - up from 3.47 million the previous week," the Associated Press reported.
"Employers added just 113,000 jobs in January, a second straight weak showing after just 75,000 new jobs in December. Economists have partly blamed December's figures on extremely cold weather," it added.
Markets are poised to open mixed this morning:
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This post has been updated.