Applications for U.S. Unemployment Aid Rise To 354,000

WASHINGTON (AP) -

The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits rose 10,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 354,000. Still, the level of applications is consistent with steady hiring and remains near a five-year low.

The Labor Department said Thursday that applications increased from a revised 344,000 the previous week, slightly higher than the 340,000 initially reported.

The gains pushed the less volatile four-week average up 6,750 to 347,250, the third straight increase.