According to figures from the U.S. Labor Department, more people signed up for unemployment benefits last week, indicating that many are still finding it difficult to get hired.
The total number of unemployment insurance applications rose to 386,000 during the period, with 6,000 more people submitting applications compared to the week before. The Associated Press reports that the average number of applications over the past four weeks stands at 382,000. When this total is less than 375,000, its usually taken as a sign that hiring is increasing.
Industry experts said that the latest figures dampened hopes for a fast-paced growth.
“The trend in jobless claims suggests … that the underlying pace of employment growth has softened,” said Bricklin Dwyer, an economist at BNP Paribas.
Many states have recently been forced to borrow money from the federal government to provide unemployment benefits to those in need. As an example, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett signed into law Senate Bill 1310, which repays the federal government for a $4 billion loan it needed to distributor funds to those without jobs.
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