Jobless Trend Continues to Wobble

April 18, 2002 ( - It's been one week up, one week down for initial jobless claims numbers, and the latest data release from the Department of Labor (DoL) shows the pattern continuing, with last week's tally of initial unemployment benefits claims edging up again.

The number of first-time jobless claims inched up by 1,000 for the week ending April 13 to a seasonally adjusted 445,000, DoL figures show, though officials note that much of the increase in initial claims can be attributed to a rise in applications for extended benefits from the unemployed.

Even as the early signs of an economic recovery surface, millions of unemployed workers are still struggling to find jobs as evidenced by the increase in continued claims, which rose to 3.84 million for the week ending April 6, the latest week for which data is available.

The closely-watched, four-week moving average, considered a more reliable indicator of the unemployment picture, rose to 448,750 for the week ending April 13, it’s highest level this year.