Weekly applications for US unemployment aid jump to 368K but still signal modest job gains - InfoNews

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Weekly applications for US unemployment aid jump to 368K but still signal modest job gains

In this Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2012, photo, Norma Urbario, left, and America Rodriguez stand in line, holding their resumes, during the job fair that the Miami Marlins hosted at Marlins Park in Miami. The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid jumped last week, though the increase mostly reflected difficulties the government has seasonally adjusting its numbers. Applications are still at levels signaling modest hiring. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)
January 31, 2013 - 5:42 AM

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid rose sharply last week but remained at a level consistent with moderate hiring.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment benefits leapt 38,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000. The increase comes after applications plummeted in the previous two weeks to five-year lows.

The volatility reflects the government's difficulty adjusting the data to account for layoffs after the holiday shopping season. Job cuts typically spike in the second week in January as retailers dismiss temporary employees hired for the winter holidays. Layoffs then fall in the second half of the month.

The department attempts to adjust for such fluctuations, but the January figures can still be volatile. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, ticked up to 352,000, just above a four-year low.

News from © The Associated Press, 2013
The Associated Press

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