News Summary: US unemployment aid claims jump

Associated Press
In this Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012, photo,  Spirit Airlines flight attendant Shaun Mobley, left, greets Roxanne Ward, right, of Dallas during a Flight Attendant Open House. Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped 46,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the highest in four months. The increase represents a rebound from the previous week's sharp drop. Both swings were largely due to technical factors.  (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
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CLAIMS RISE: Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits jumped 46,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 388,000, the highest in four months after falling sharply the previous week.

THE BACK STORY: A Labor Department spokesman said Thursday the last two week's figures were distorted by seasonal adjustments the department makes.

MORE STABLE GAUGE: The four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, rose slightly to 365,500, a level consistent with modest hiring. Applications are a proxy for layoffs. When they consistently fall below 375,000, it suggests hiring is healthy enough to lower the unemployment rate.

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