Initial unemployment claims ticked up slightly during the week that ended April 13, 2013,according to the most recent numbers put out by the U.S. Labor Department (DoL). There were 352,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance during the second week of April, up 4,000 from the previous week's revised number of 348,000. The Los Angeles Times reports that economists tend to link new unemployment claims of 350,000 or less with moderate job growth of about 150,000 positions per month.
First-time unemployment claims have been fluctuating widely since mid-March 2013 – claims jumped up by about 30,000 to 388,000 the week ending March 30, then plummeted to 348,000 the following week before rising slightly again last week. Unemployment statistics are often a bit jumpy during March and April, as the Easter holiday and school vacations tend to interfere with reporting and hiring. Additionally, seasonal adjustments can be complicated by the fact that Easter falls on a different date each year.
The four week moving average was 361,250, up 2,750 from the previous week's 358,500 revised average. The moving average is a preferred indicator among economists because it tends to smooth out some of the volatility of the weekly counts.
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