WASHINGTON — More people applied for unemployment benefits last week, one week after claims had fallen to the lowest level in nearly three years.
The Labor Department says 410,000 people sought unemployment assistance last week, a jump of 25,000 from the previous week. The rise was much larger than economists had expected.
Applications are well below their peak of 651,000, reached in March 2009, when the economy was in the depths of the recession. Applications below 425,00 are viewed as a signal of modest job growth but they would need to dip consistently to 375,000 or below to indicate a significant and steady decline in the unemployment rate.