Initial Unemployment Filings Rise

February 28, 2002 ( - The number of newly unemployed claiming benefits increased last week, while the key four-week moving average edged down to its lowest level in six months, according to data from the Department of Labor.

The DoL’s latest jobless claims report shows the number of Americans filing for benefits for the first time increasing by 17,000 in the week ending February 23 from the previous week’s revised figure of 361,000. The DoL had originally reported that the previous week’s initial claims had risen to 383,000.

The closely watched four-week moving average, which most economists consider a better indicator of the unemployment situation, dropped to 373,000 in the latest week, from 376,250 recorded a week earlier.

In all, 20 states recorded decreases of over 1,000 in first time jobless claims. Topping the list were:

  • California, where claims fell by 8,817
  • Illinios, where claims were down by 6,590
  • Missouri, which reported 5,114 fewer claims.

No states recorded increases of over 1,000.