Unemployment Claims Rise

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Bad news for job seekers. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits spiked from its four-year low last week, with 13,000 more people applying for benefits for a total initial number of 380,000 nationwide. The jump reverses a steady decline in recent weeks of people seeking the benefits, pushing the four-week moving average to 368,500, up 4,250 from the previous week's revised average of 364,250, according to the Department of Labor.

Fortunately for the long-term employment picture, Marketwatch points out that the spike has to do with spring break, "when many school bus drivers and cafeteria workers are allowed to file claims." What's more unique about this week's numbers is the unusually sharp upward revision to of last week's initial figure to 367,000 from 357,000. As the AP likes to point out, "When applications fall below 375,000, it generally suggests that hiring will be strong enough to lower the unemployment rate." That didn't happen this week.

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