Blake Ellis
CNN
February 25, 2010

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t
  • {openx:49}

The number of Americans filing for initial unemployment insurance surged to just below the 500,000 level last week, and have climbed more than 12% over the past two weeks, the government said Thursday.

There were 496,000 initial job claims filed in the week ended Feb. 20, up 22,000 from a revised 474,000 the previous week, the Labor Department said in a weekly report. The prior week, there were 442,000 claims filed.

A consensus estimate of economists surveyed by Briefing.com expected new claims to fall to 460,000.

The 4-week moving average of initial claims was 473,750, up 6,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 467,750.

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