Washington, DC, Feb. 26, 2015 — Initial claims for unemployment benefits surged last week above 300,000 to the highest level in seven weeks, according to the Labor Department.
Initial claims rose by 31,000 to 313,000 in the week ended Feb. 21.
Claims have ranged from 267,000 to 317,000 this year.
Applications are running 11% below last year levels. The fourth-week average of claims remained below 300,000 for the fifth consecutive week.