US initial jobless claims rise by 23,000, first increase in a month


US initial jobless claims rose by 23,000 in the week ended Feb. 12, following three consecutive weeks of declines, the US Department of Labor reported today. The previous week’s level was revised upward by 2,000.

The four-week moving average of claims fell by 10,500 to a total of 243,250; the previous week’s average was revised upward by 500.

The number of Americans filing new claims for jobless benefits unexpectedly rose last week but remained at levels associated with tightening labor market conditions, Reuters reported. Its poll of economists had forecast 219,000 applications for the latest week.

“While some level of labor market churn should continue in the near term, we would not be surprised to see claims fall even further below pre-pandemic levels in the coming months,” Reuters quoted economist Veronica Clark as saying.