WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday first-time claims for jobless benefits rose by 35,000 last week, pushing back above 400,000 claims.
A week ago, initial claims fell under 400,000 for the first time since July 2008. In a monthly report, the department said the U.S. unemployment rate dropped from 9.8 percent to 9.4 percent, but the latest number was more a reflection of the increase in workers who gave up looking for work, 260,000, than the 103,000 who found jobs.
In the week ending Jan. 8, 410,000 first-time claims were filed and the four-week rolling average of initial unemployment benefit claims rose by 5,500 to 416,500.
The Labor Department said the biggest increases in claims for the week ending Jan. 1 were reported by Georgia with 11,997 additional claims, Michigan, which added 10,129, and Pennsylvania, which added 9,004.
For the week ending Jan. 1, the biggest decrease was reported by California with a decline of 13,694, followed by Florida with a decline of 1,867 and Nevada with a decline of 972.