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.
The Labor Department says the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell slightly to 365,500, a level consistent with modest hiring.
Last week, California reported a large drop in applications, pushing down the overall figure to the lowest since February 2008.
This week, it reported a significant increase as it processed applications delayed from the previous week. (Read More: Why Jobless Claims May Not Be as Good as Market Thinks.)
A department spokesman says the seasonally adjusted numbers “are being distorted … by an issue of timing.”
CONTINUED at CNBC.