Applications For Jobless Aid Hit Highest Level Since August

By PAUL WISEMAN

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, but jobless claims remain at levels that suggest most workers enjoy job security.

The Labor Department says claims for unemployment aid rose by 7,000 to a seasonally adjusted 265,000, highest since early August. Still, claims came in below 300,000 for the 87th straight week, longest such streak since 1970 when the workforce was much smaller.

The less-volatile four-week average rose 4,750 to 257,750.

Overall, 2.03 million Americans are collecting unemployment checks, fewest since June 2000 and down more than 7 percent from a year earlier.

Applications for jobless aid are a proxy for layoffs, and most employers have been holding onto staff. The unemployment rate was 5 percent in September, close to what economists consider full employment.
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