(CN) – The Labor Department said Thursday that 53,000 more Americans applied for unemployment benefits last week, an increase from the 49-year low the week before.
The more stable four-week average for unemployment claims increased by 5,000 last week to just over 220,000.
After the 35-day government shutdown ended last week, the number of federal workers applying for unemployment checks dropped 42 percent to 14,739. Those numbers are tracked in a separate category and aren’t included in overall unemployment figures.
Last week’s seasonally adjusted 199,000 applications for jobless benefits marked the lowest number since November 1969.
Employers added a robust 312,000 jobs in December. The jobs report for January is out Friday and is expected to show about 165,000 new hires.