WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (Xinhua) -- The number of Americans initially applying for unemployment aid rose to a one-month high in the third week of February, the Labor Department said Thursday.
In the week ending Feb. 22, the advance figure of seasonally adjusted initial claims for jobless benefits increased by 14,000 to 348,000, the highest level in a month, the data showed.
Meanwhile, the four-week moving average, which helps smooth out week-to-week volatility, remained unchanged at 338,250 from the previous week's revised average, the figures showed.
The advance figure of seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending Feb. 15 stood at 2.964 million, up 8,000 from the previous week.
The jobless claims have fluctuated between 325,000 and 348,000 this year, indicating no fundamental shift in labor market conditions. But it's still unclear whether it reflects the temporary impact of unusually cold weather or the trend of a slowdown in U.S. economic growth in the recent months.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told the Congress Thursday that the central bank needs more time to judge how much the weather has played a role in the recent weaker economic indicators.