WASHINGTON -- The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid rose last week, putting them back at the lower end of their pre-storm range and suggesting job growth remains moderate.
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 17,000 to a seasonally adjusted 361,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The prior week's figure was revised to show 1,000 more applications than previously reported.
Claims have now unwound the Hurricane Sandy surge. They rose as high as 451,000 in the aftermath of the late October storm, which struck the East Coast. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 357,000 last week.