National

Aug 5, 2010 8:27 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5

New unemployment claims on the rise

Initial requests for jobless benefits rose last week to their highest level since April, a sign that hiring remains weak and some companies are still cutting workers.

The Labor Department says new claims for unemployment insurance rose by 19,000 to a seasonally adjusted 479,000. Analysts had expected a small drop. Claims have risen twice in the past three weeks. Some of the increase stemmed from difficulties the government has in adjusting for seasonal factors.

The Labor Department expected a large decline in claims last week as many auto companies usually shut their plants temporarily in early July. Claims were expected to rise during the shutdown and then fall. But this year General Motors and other manufacturers skipped the shutdowns, so claims didn't fall last week as much as expected.

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