WASHINGTON – Seasonally adjusted initial jobless claims remained unchanged for the week ending Feb.18, staying put at the previous week's revised figure of 351,000, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Continuing claims were down to 3.392 million for the week ending Feb. 11, a decrease of 52,000 from the previous week's revised level of 3.444 million.
The 351,000 initial claims were fewer than the median 354,000 projected by economists polled by Thomson Reuters, and the 3.392 million continuing claims were fewer than the median economist estimate of 3.460 million. This week’s figure represents the fewest continuing claims since August 9, 2008, when they numbered 3.337 million.
The four-week moving average for initial claims was 359,000, a decrease of 7,000 from the previous week's revised average of 366,000 and the lowest figure since March 22, 2008, when the average was 355,500.
The four-week moving average for continuing claims was 3.453 million, which was down 43,750 from the preceding week's revised average of 3.497 million average and the lowest since Sept. 13, 2008, when the average was 3.452 million.
California and Virginia provided estimates of their data, and the Labor Department estimated the data for Hawaii.