WASHINGTON -- More Americans sought unemployment benefits last week, though the winter holidays likely distorted the data for the second straight week.
The Labor Department said Thursday that weekly applications rose by 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 372,000 in the week ended Dec. 29. The previous week's total was revised higher.
Many state unemployment offices were closed this week for the New Year's holiday and did not submit complete data for last week. As a result, the department relied on estimates for nine states. Two weeks ago, the department estimated 19 states because of Christmas closings.
In a typical week, the government estimates only one or two states.