Job­less ben­e­fit ap­pli­ca­tions rise

Los Angeles Times - - BUSINESS BEAT -

More Amer­i­cans sought un­em­ploy­ment benefits last week, though the over­all level re­mains low and points to a healthy job mar­ket.

Weekly ap­pli­ca­tions in­creased 7,000 to a sea­son­ally ad­justed 282,000, the La­bor Depart­ment said. The four­week av­er­age, a less volatile mea­sure, rose 5,000 to 271,500. The av­er­age had fallen to a 15-year low two weeks ago.

Ap­pli­ca­tions have re­mained be­low 300,000, a his­tor­i­cally low num­ber, for 12 weeks. That sug­gests Amer­i­cans are experiencing solid job se­cu­rity. It also in­di­cates that em­ploy­ers are con­fi­dent enough in the eco­nomic out­look to hold onto their staffs.

The to­tal num­ber of peo­ple re­ceiv­ing benefits in­creased 11,000 to 2.22 mil­lion. That fig­ure has fallen 16% in the last year and rep­re­sents roughly one-quar­ter of the to­tal num­ber of un­em­ployed. Many of those out of work have used up all their benefits. Oth­ers, such as re- cent col­lege grad­u­ates look­ing for work, aren’t el­i­gi­ble for un­em­ploy­ment aid.

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