WASHINGTON (AP) — Initial claims for unemployment benefits rose last week for the second time in three weeks, a sign that layoffs are rising.
The Labor Department says new claims for jobless benefits jumped by 13,000 to a seasonally adjusted 472,000. Analysts expected a small drop, according to a survey by Thomson Reuters.
Greater layoffs by construction firms contributed to the increase, a Labor Department analyst said. Home sales slumped last month after the expiration of a popular homebuyer tax credit. Summer layoffs in many school districts also added to the total.
The number of people continuing to claim benefits rose by 43,000 to 4.6 million, the department said. But the number of people collecting extended benefits fell by 376,000, as lawmakers have refused to continue the extra aid.