News Summary: Weekly US jobless aid claims rise

News Summary: Weekly applications for US unemployment aid rise to 368K, suggest modest hiring

Associated Press
Solid Jan. hiring would boost hopes for US economy
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In this Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2013, photo, perspective job seekers talk with employers during a job fair in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. The number of Americans seeking unemployment aid jumped last week, though the increase mostly reflected difficulties the government has seasonally adjusting its numbers. Applications are still at levels signaling modest hiring. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

CLAIMS JUMP: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose 38,000 to a seasonally adjusted 368,000 last week after plummeting by a combined 45,000 in the previous two weeks to five-year lows.

THE TAKEAWAY: The total remained at a level consistent with moderate hiring. The four-week average ticked up to 352,000, just above a four-year low. Most economists weren't concerned by either increase.

THE OUTLOOK: Thursday's report came a day before the government is scheduled to issue its January jobs report. Analysts expect that it will show employers added 155,000 jobs. The unemployment rate is expected to remain at 7.8 percent for the third straight month.

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