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The U.S. four-week moving average of initial claims for unemployment insurance rose by 11,250 in the week ended March 30 to a level of 354,250 from the previous week's unrevised average of 343,000, according to seasonally adjusted numbers released today by the U.S. Department of Labor.
The four-week moving average decreases the volatility of the weekly numbers. Total initial claims for unemployment insurance for the week were 385,000, up 28,000 from the previous week’s unrevised figure of 357,000 and the highest level in four months.
Economists caution, however, that the jump could be attributable to the challenge of seasonally adjusting the numbers around the Easter holiday and school spring breaks.