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Applications for U.S. jobless benefits rise slightly

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The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits rose 16,000 last week, to a seasonally adjusted 326,000. Despite the increase, the number remains close to pre-recession levels and points to stable hiring.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, inched up 250, to 319,500.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs. They have fallen back to roughly pre-recession levels, an indication that companies are letting go of fewer workers and expect solid economic growth in the months ahead.

The low level of applications for benefits has boosted optimism about how many jobs employers added in March. Weekly claims for unemployment aid have reached a level that is typically consistent with monthly job gains of more than 200,000.

The Labor Department releases its March employment report Friday. Economists project that employers added 191,000 workers last month, according to a survey by FactSet.

That would be an improvement from February, when employers added 175,000 positions. And hiring in February accelerated after winter weather slowed job growth in the previous two months. Snowstorms and freezing temperatures in January and December shut down factories, kept shoppers away from stores and reduced home buying. That cut into growth and hiring. Employers added 129,000 jobs in January and only 84,000 in December.

The unemployment rate rose to 6.7 percent last month. But the tenth of a percentage point increase happened, in part, for a positive reason: More people entered the job market to look for work. Employers didn't immediately hire most of them, causing the unemployment rate to increase. But the fact that they started job hunting suggests that Americans are growing more optimistic.

More jobs and higher incomes will be needed to spur better overall economic growth. For now, economists estimate that the bad weather contributed to weak growth of 1.5 percent to 2 percent at an annual rate in the January-March quarter. But as the weather improves, most analysts expect growth to rebound to near 3 percent.

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  1. If what you stated is true, then this article is entirely inaccurate. "State sells bonds" is same as "State borrows money". Supposedly the company will "pay for them". But since we are paying the company, we are still paying for this road with borrowed money, even though the state has $2 billion in the bank.

  2. Andrew hit the nail on the head. AMTRAK provides terrible service and that is why the state has found a contractor to improve the service. More trips, on-time performance, better times, cleanliness and adequate or better restrooms. WI-FI and food service will also be provided. Transit from outlying areas will also be provided. I wouldn't take it the way it is but with the above services and marketing of the service,ridership will improve and more folks will explore Indy and may even want to move here.

  3. They could take the property using eminent domain and save money by not paying the church or building a soccer field and a new driveway. Ctrwd has monthly meetings open to all customers of the district. The meetings are listed and if the customers really cared that much they would show. Ctrwd works hard in every way they can to make sure the customer is put first. Overflows damage the surrounding environment and cost a lot of money every year. There have been many upgrades done through the years to help not send flow to Carmel. Even with the upgrades ctrwd cannot always keep up. I understand how a storage tank could be an eye sore, but has anyone thought to look at other lift stations or storage tanks. Most lift stations are right in the middle of neighborhoods. Some close to schools and soccer fields, and some right in back yards, or at least next to a back yard. We all have to work together to come up with a proper solution. The proposed solution by ctrwd is the best one offered so far.

  4. Fox has comments from several people that seem to have some inside information. I would refer to their website. Changed my whole opionion of this story.

  5. This place is great! I'm piggy backing and saying the Cobb salad is great. But the ribs are awesome. $6.49 for ribs and 2 sides?! They're delicious. If you work downtown, head over there.

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