WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week by 17,000, reversing four weeks of declines.
The Labor Department reports that a seasonally adjusted 361,000 people sought unemployment aid the week ended Dec. 15, from a revised 344,000 the week before.
But the less-volatile four-week moving average fell 13,750 to 367,750, the lowest since late October, suggesting that the job market continues to grow modestly. Applications had surged after Superstorm Sandy, then fallen back.
Applications are a proxy for layoffs. So the drop of the four-week average suggests that companies are cutting fewer jobs, even if they aren't hiring enough to lower the unemployment rate significantly. The economy has generated an average of 151,000 jobs a month in 2012, not enough to pull high unemployment down sharply.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please provide detailed information.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or email@example.com.