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Economic Report: Jobless claims climb 15,000 to 258,000

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Strong hiring in early 2017 is keeping layoffs in the U.S. extremely low.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The number of Americans who applied for unemployment benefits last week jumped by 15,000 to 258,000 and matched a two-month high, with fresh revisions showing layoffs a bit higher in the past few years than previously reported.

Economists polled by MarketWatch has expected initial jobless claims to total 240,000 in the seven days stretching from March 12 to March 18.

The government updated jobless claims going back five years as it does annually to take into account more accurate seasonal adjustments. The new figures show layoffs are still extremely low but a bit higher than previously reported.

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