Initial unemployment claims continued to decline as February came to a close, providing hope to jobless workers in the midst of debt consolidation who are looking for a sign the struggling housing market may slowly be righting itself.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s latest Employment Insurance Weekly Claims Report released on Thursday, initial unemployment claims stood at 469,000 for the week ending February 27, 29,000 fewer than there were one week earlier. The 4-week moving average of initial claims also dipped slightly to 470,750, a decline of 3,500.
Using the most recent data available, the survey also found that the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate stood at 3.5 percent for the week ending February 20, a decrease of 0.1 percentage point from the prior week’s revised rate.
Because of that, the survey also found that the number of jobless workers receiving unemployment during same the week stood at 4.5 million, a decrease of 134,000 from the previous week’s revised figure.
Additionally, the survey found that during the week ending February 20, only seven states saw an increase in their initial claims, with New Jersey leading the way with 4,879 new claims that were attributed to a backlog caused by weather-related office closings and a statewide furlough day.
Conversely, 12 states saw a decrease in claims of more than 1,000, with California leading the way with 12,000 fewer declines due to decreases layoffs in the service industry.