And it’s time for our weekly unemployment applications aid report.

Applications for jobless benefits rose by 28,000 for the week ending March 30, bringing the total to 385,000, up from last week’s revised figure of 357,000, the Labor Department announced on Thursday.

This is the highest claims posting in four months.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, increased by 11,250, bringing the total to 354,250, up from the previous average of 343,000.

Naturally, major media outlets are blaming Thursday’s report on a whole host of factors, anything but the actual economy.

“Sure enough, the excuses begin: sequester, Easter (two states estimated which means actual number is likely even worse), weather (unclear if warm or hot), Cyprus, and generally, stuff,” Zero Hedge notes.

“Just not the economy. Never the actual economy. Because it is unpossible that with $85 billion inject per month into the…economy, that things would be just getting worse and worse,” it adds.

The Labor Department report wasn’t rosy.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.4 percent for the week ending March 23, unchanged from the prior week’s unrevised rate,” the report states.

“The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending March 23 was 3,063,000, a decrease of 8,000 from the preceding week’s revised level of 3,071,000. The 4-week moving average was 3,067,250, a decrease of 10,500 from the preceding week’s revised average of 3,077,750,” it adds.

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending March 23 were California (+8,712), Texas (+2,736), Kansas (+1,611), Arkansas (+1,542), and Pennsylvania (+1,448).

Meanwhile, Virginia (-1,117), Massachusetts (-804), South Carolina (-602), Puerto Rico (-529), and North Carolina (-503) posted the biggest decreases in initial claims.

If you enjoyed this, stay tuned until tomorrow when we bring you the March employment report.

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Front page photo courtesy Getty Images.