Jobless claims came in higher than expected last week, but not enough to cause a big ripple in the country’s improving jobs market.
The latest numbers from the Labor Department show applications for unemployment benefits jumped 25,000, to a seasonally adjusted 304,000.
The jump erases much of the dip from two weeks ago when claims fell by 42,000. Although, that number was attributed to seasonal volatility and a holiday week when offices were closed.
Last week’s number was adjusted up by 1,000. A look at the more reliable moving-average over four weeks shows the number at just under 290,000, down 14% from a year ago.
More than a million jobs have been added over the past three months, something that hasn’t happened since 1997, according to the Department of Labor.
The latest report shows of those who continue to receive benefits after one week, 51,000 drop off, putting the number of Americans unemployed at end of January at 2.35 million.