(Bloomberg) — Applications for unemployment benefits climbed last week to a level that's consistent with progress in the labor market.

Jobless claims rose by 25,000 to 304,000 in the week ended Feb. 7, higher than forecast, from a revised 279,000 in the prior period, a Labor Department report showed Thursday in Washington. The median projection of 48 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 287,000. The four-week average dropped to the lowest since mid-November.

"There's probably a little bit of loss of momentum at the moment, maybe related to the weather," said David Sloan, senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York. "Overall, the labor market looks pretty strong."

Complete your profile to continue reading and get FREE access to BenefitsPRO, part of your ALM digital membership.

  • Critical BenefitsPRO information including cutting edge post-reform success strategies, access to educational webcasts and videos, resources from industry leaders, and informative Newsletters.
  • Exclusive discounts on ALM, BenefitsPRO magazine and BenefitsPRO.com events
  • Access to other award-winning ALM websites including ThinkAdvisor.com and Law.com

© 2024 ALM Global, LLC, All Rights Reserved. Request academic re-use from www.copyright.com. All other uses, submit a request to [email protected]. For more information visit Asset & Logo Licensing.