WASHINGTON — Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose 26,000 in the March 5 week to 397,000, above expectations but within the typical pattern for a post-holiday spring break week, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
The four-week moving average rose 3,000 to 392,250, while the previous week’s claims were revised down to 371,000. The four-week average was back to its mid-February level.
A Labor analyst said that the bump up in the week was “very routine,” reflecting the school spring break in New England when bus drivers and others are laid off as well as the usual catch-up surge after a week containing a holiday.
Only Alaska’s figures were estimated.