The number of jobless claims increased during the week ending March 3, but remained well below the mark representing an unhealthy economy, which could give prospective homebuyers more safety and soundness when trying to qualify for a mortgage.
According to a report from the Labor Department, seasonally adjusted jobless claims during the week slightly rose to 362,000 from 354,000 the previous week. Meanwhile, a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas found that the number of planned layoffs dipped 3.3 percent in February.
"Recent gains in employment across many states are undoubtedly helping to boost payroll tax revenue," said the firm's chief executive officer, John Challenger. "Furthermore, many states and local municipalities have already cut to the bone and may have little room for additional cuts."
However, despite overall improvements in the job market since the beginning of 2012, there were still an estimated 7.39 million Americans receiving some form of federal unemployment benefits during the week ending February 18. This is down from 7.49 million the previous week.