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Number of Americans Looking for Unemployment Help on the Rise Again


Up again.

Applications for jobless benefits jumped by 28,000 for the week ending May 17, bringing the total to 326,000, down from last week’s revised figure of 298,000, the Labor Department announced Thursday.

The increase comes after the number of Americans looking for unemployment aid fell last week to their lowest levels since May 2007.

The four-week moving average, a “less volatile” figure, fell 1,000 to 322,500, down from last week’s revised figure of 323,500.

There were no unexpected factors that affected this week’s unemployment benefits number, the government said.

“The number of people receiving benefits fell to 2.66 million, the fewest since December 1, 2007, when the recession began,” the Associated Press reported.

“The advance seasonally adjusted insured unemployment rate was 2.0 percent for the week ending May 10, unchanged from the previous week's unrevised rate. The advance number for seasonally adjusted insured unemployment during the week ending May 10 was 2,653,000, a decrease of 13,000 from the previous week's revised level,” the Labor Department report reads.

“The previous week's level was revised down by 1,000 from 2,667,000 to 2,666,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,689,000, a decrease of 5,250 from the previous week's revised average," the report added. "The previous week's average was revised down by 250 from 2,694,500 to 2,694,250."

The states with the largest increases in initial claims for the week ending May 10 were in Mississippi (+1,183), Georgia (+1,147), Tennessee (+730), Minnesota (+587) and North Carolina (+324).

Meanwhile, California (-7,651), Massachusetts (-2,316), Pennsylvania (-1,408), New York (-1,391) and Florida (-1,230) posted the largest decreases in initial claims.

Markets are poised to open higher Thursday:

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