US Jobless Claims Rise to 320,000 Last Week

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week and nonfarm productivity contracted more sharply than previously thought in the fourth quarter.

Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 320,000 for the week ended Feb. 28, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected claims to fall to 295,000 last week.

The four-week moving average for claims, which evens out weekly volatility, rose by 10,250 to 304,750 last week.
In a second report, U.S. worker productivity was even weaker than first thought from October through December while labor costs rose at a faster rate.

The Commerce Department says that productivity declined at an annual rate of 2.2 percent in the fourth quarter, weaker than the 1.8 percent drop that was estimated a month ago. Labor costs rose at a 4.1 percent rate, faster than the 2.7 percent increase first estimated.

via CNBC

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza