Read as much as you want on BostonGlobe.com, anywhere and anytime, for just 99¢.

Weekly unemployment applications jump, a sign of modest hiring

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits jumped 20,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 362,000, though it remained at a level consistent with modest hiring.

The Labor Department says the four-week average, a less volatile measure, rose 8,000 to 360,750, the highest in six weeks. A department spokesman says heavy snowstorms in the Northeast didn’t affect the total.

Continue reading below

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. They have trended downward recently. The four-week average has declined 7.5 percent since mid-November and fell to a five-year low three weeks ago.

Still, the increase puts applications back in the 360,000-to-390,000 range, where they have fluctuated since early last year. Employers have added an average of 181,000 jobs a month since then.

Loading comments...

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week