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After 4-year low, more people claiming unemployment benefits again

Published: Thursday, April 4 2013 12:34 p.m. MDT

In this June 13, 2012, photo, job seekers wait in line at a job expo in Anaheim, Calif. More Americans sought unemployment benefits this week, the highest number in four months.

Jae C. Hong, Associated Press

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Jobless claims had an unanticipated spike last week, making for a four-month high, according to the Los Angeles Times. This could be bad news for the economy.

"There is evidence that the economy is going to slow in the second quarter again this year as the European economy is weak and the mandatory spending cuts from Washington start to have a greater impact," Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in New York, told the Times.

In this latest report from the Labor Department, the number of people claiming unemployment benefits rose 28,000. In all, there were 385,000 filing for benefits. The rise is in contrast to the nearly four-year low of 334,000 that was hit in early march.

Rupkey said the rising claims are "not a good sign." In the private sector, the fewest jobs were added since October — only 158,000, according to the Times.

Economists said spring stalling has happened the past few years, so the economy is expected to slow again. Overall, the unemployment rate is projected to stay at 7.7 percent.

EMAIL: alovell@deseretnews.com

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