Unemployment Up

The number of laid-off workers filing claims for unemployment benefits rose by a larger-than-expected amount last week.

The Labor Department says the number of applications for jobless benefits jumped by 20,000 to 339,000, the highest total in a month.

The increase was double what economists had been expecting.

It partly reflects the impact of the California wildfires and a writers' strike, which has shut down a lot of TV production.

The increase occurred after three consecutive weekly declines.

The four-week average for claims remained unchanged at 330,000.

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