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Jobless Claims Jump Up, Orders For Durable Goods Fall Off

Thursday's economic news isn't great:

-- There were 348,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance filed last week, up 14,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says.

-- New orders for equipment, airplanes and other so-called durable goods declined by 1 percent in January from December, the Census Bureau reports. Those orders have now fallen in three of the last four months. According to the Census Bureau, transportation equipment "drove the decrease."

The good news, according to Bloomberg, is that orders "fell less than forecast ... a sign manufacturing was beginning to emerge from the harsh winter weather that blanketed the nation." Reuters adds that excluding the transportation sector, orders "unexpectedly rose last month."

As for the jump in jobless claims, Bloomberg reports that "more seasonable weather will probably help the world's largest economy rebound in coming months, leading to further gains in employment." Reuters notes that "the four-week moving average for new claims, considered a better measure of underlying labor market conditions as it irons out week-to-week volatility, was unchanged at 338,250."

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.