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Economic Report: Jobless claims jump a week after setting nearly 50-year low

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Layoffs have been falling for years and have touched levels last seen in 1969 owing to strong hiring and job creation.

The numbers: The rate of layoffs as measured by U.S. jobless claims rose sharply in early March, just one week after dropping to the lowest level since 1969.

Initial U.S. jobless claims rose by 21,000 to 231,000 in the seven days ended March 3, the government said Thursday. That’s the highest level in six weeks.

Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had forecast claims to total 220,000.

The more stable monthly average of claims edged up 2,000 to 222,500, but it’s just slightly above a 50-year low.

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