Investing.com - The number of people who filed for unemployment assistance in the U.S. fell more than expected last week, indicating the American economy is still robust and suggesting that after last week's surprise increase in unemployment numbers may be a blip.
The U.S. Department of Labor said that the number of individuals applying for initial jobless benefits in the week to Feb. 15 fell to a seasonally adjusted 216,000.
Analysts expected 220,000 initial claims, down from the previous week’s jump to 239,000.
The four-week moving average was 235,750, an increase of 4,000 from the previous week. The monthly average is seen as a more accurate gauge of labor trends because it reduces volatility in the week-to-week data.
Continuing jobless claims fell to 1.725 million from 1.780 million a week earlier. These claims reflect people who recently lost their jobs and are already receiving benefits.