Unemployment applications barely rise

SHARE Unemployment applications barely rise

WASHINGTON — The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits basically held steady last week, as the job market continues to outpace broader economic growth.

The Labor Department says weekly applications for unemployment aid rose slightly by 1,000 to a seasonally adjusted 291,000. Jobless claims have been subdued for the past two weeks after winter storms caused them to spike at the end of February due to closed schools and construction sites.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased 2,250 to 304,750. That average has dropped 7.5 percent over the past year.

Weekly applications are a proxy for layoffs. When employers keep their workers, it is generally a sign that they expect continued economic growth and will likely increase hiring. Applications below 300,000 are typically consistent with healthy job gains.

JOSH BOAK, AP Economics Writer

The Latest
After a memorable five-plus-year run for our “Sports Saturday” editions, we’re shifting the best, thickest sports section in town back a day. Get ready for “Sports Sunday.”
Paul Vriend’s photograph of a lively fawn at Rosehill Cemetery and Todd Carp explaining cicada-imitating flies working on Salt Creek are among the notes from around Chicago outdoors and beyond.
After the Sharks take Macklin Celebrini at No. 1 overall, the order gets a lot murkier. Here’s a rough guess for how all 32 first-round picks will play out, including the Hawks’ No. 2 and No. 18 selections.
The Greater Chicago Sudanese American Association was started to help underprivileged communities in Sudan and Sudanese refugees in the United States. The nonprofit’s immediate goal, however, is to feed the hungry amid the African nation’s latest conflict.
Council members made a forward-thinking move by approving bonds to create apartments in four LaSalle Street corridor buildings. We urge the council to move forward on a plan to bring back coach houses and other accessory dwelling units.