Weekly applications for US jobless benefits rise to 348K, though overall trend remains low - InfoNews

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Weekly applications for US jobless benefits rise to 348K, though overall trend remains low

In this Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, file photo, job seekers sign in before meeting prospective employers during a career fair at a hotel in Dallas. Labor Department releases weekly jobless claims on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
January 30, 2014 - 5:39 AM

WASHINGTON - Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 19,000 last week to 348,000, the highest in about a month. But the broader trend in applications remains low.

The Labor Department says that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased just 750 to 333,000. The increase follows three weeks of declines.

The average is close to pre-recession levels and suggests that, despite last week's rise, layoffs remain low. But hiring will need to pick up to cut the still-high 6.7 per cent unemployment rate.

Employers added just 74,000 jobs in December, the fewest in three years and far below the average of 214,000 added in the previous four months. Most economists forecast that hiring will rebound in January to roughly the 185,000 average monthly job gains of the past two years.

News from © The Associated Press, 2014
The Associated Press

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