Employee turnover and terminations are a fact of life for any organization, but that added stress on unemployment insurance will mean increased costs from the business’ perspective. With that in mind, it is worth paying attention to current trends across the country, to get a better understanding of the current state of the U.S. economy.

Surprisingly, the U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that unemployment claims increased for the week ending Feb. 22, with the figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims at 348,000. That is 14,000 higher than the previous amount. In addition, the advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.3 percent for the week ending Feb. 15, while the advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment ticked up 8,000 on a weekly basis.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims by the middle of February were California, Michigan, Oregon, and Missouri, respectively.

This reported change in unemployment claims was somewhat unexpected, according to a Reuters poll. The media outlet consulted a number of economists earlier in the week, and the consensus was that first-time applications for jobless benefits would decrease to 335,000 for the week ending Feb. 22. However, this may not be a sign of worse to come. Instead, there is often uncertainty surrounding federal holidays, such as this past Presidents Day.


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