Unemployment Claims Bob Up, Remain Below 400,000

Unemployment insurance claims last week rose 26,000 to 397,000, while the four-week moving average rose 3,000 to 392,250, the Labor Department reported today.

This is good news, as lately unemployment claims have been bouncing up and down wildly. Today’s results are no different on that account, but the fact that they remained below 400,000, the “magic number” for job growth, is significant.

Meanwhile, for the week ended February 19, the most recent week for which data were available, 8.7 million people were receiving some form of government unemployment assistance.