WASHINGTON — More Americans applied for employment benefits last week following three straight weeks of declines.
Jobless claims rose by 23,000 to 248,000 last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Claims were revised up to 225,000 the previous week.
The four-week average for claims, which compensates for weekly volatility, fell by 10,500 to 243,250. It was the second straight week of declines after rising for five straight weeks as the omicron variant of the coronavirus spread, disrupting business in many parts of the U.S.
In total, fewer than 1.6 million Americans were collecting jobless aid the week that ended Feb. 5, a decrease of about 26,000 from the previous week.
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