Jobless Claims Jump Up

March 28, 2002 ( - The number of US workers filing for first-time unemployment benefits jumped up by a larger-than-expected 4.7% during the week ending March 23, a sign that the much hoped for economic recovery is still searching for firm footing.

According to the US Department of Labor (DoL), there were 394,000 in seasonally adjusted initial claims, up from the previous week’s revised figure of 376,000.

The four-week moving average, which economists consider a more reliable unemployment measure because it smoothes out weekly fluctuations, was 383,500, up slightly from the previous week’s revised figure of 380,250.

States with the highest initial claims figure for the week ending March 16 were Michigan, Mississippi, Arkanas, Washington and New Mexico.  Showing the largest drops were California, Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts and Ohio.