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Friday December 2nd, 2022 1:16AM

Weekly unemployment benefit applications rise

By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The number of people seeking unemployment benefits rose last week for the first time in a month. But a measure of applications over the past month fell to a three-and-a-half-year low, an indication that hiring could pick up.

The Labor Department says weekly applications rose 15,000 to a seasonally adjusted 381,000. The four-week average, a less volatile measure, fell for the fourth straight week to 375,000 the lowest level since June 2008.

Applications generally must fall below 375,000 consistently to signal that hiring is strong enough to reduce the unemployment rate.

Unemployment benefit applications are a measure of the pace of layoffs. Applications have plummeted in the past month, indicating that job cuts have fallen sharply. Still, many companies have been slow to boost hiring.
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