WASHINGTON: New claims for US unemployment insurance pushed back toward the long-term trend line last week from the previous week’s sharp fall, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, were 278,000 in the week to January 31, up from 267,000 the previous week.
The four-week moving average was 292,750, compared to 299,250 the previous week.
A year ago the average was 334,000.
“Through the volatility, the four-week average is not quite as low as it was a few months ago but there continues to be no sign of a new uptrend,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics.
On Friday, the Labor Department releases jobs market data for January, with the unemployment rate expected to hold at 5.6 percent on a modest slowdown in hiring, to a net 235,000 new jobs.