More Americans than forecast filed applications for unemploymentbenefits last week, reflecting an unwinding of adjustments forseasonal swings at the start of a quarter.

Jobless claims increased by 46,000 to 388,000 in the week endedOct. 13 from a revised 342,000 the prior period that was the lowestsince February 2008, Labor Department figures showed today inWashington. The median forecast of 49 economists surveyed byBloomberg called for a rise in claims to 365,000.

The typical pattern of large increases in unadjusted claims atthe start of the quarter seems to have shifted by a week in onestate, causing the adjusted data to become volatile, a LaborDepartment spokesman said as the figures were released to thepress. Through the ups and downs, the level of firings has beenlittle changed, indicating that a lack of hiring is the main reasonpayrolls have failed to strengthen.

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