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US unemployment aid applications jump to 388K

By// Julius Rea

Weekly unemployment benefit applications jumped 46,000 last week to 388,000, the highest amount in four months. The increase marks a rebound from the previous week’s sharp drop, according to the Associated Press.

“Though still struggling, the U.S. labor market appears to be making headway, and we should see a modest improvement in October … payrolls,” Sal Guatieri, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, said in an email to clients.

The unemployment rate fell in September to 7.8 percent, the lowest level since January 2009. It is unclear how many of these applications were made by African-Americans. In July, CNN reported that the unemployment rate for Blacks rose to 14.4 percent despite the national average being 8.2 percent at the time.

“African Americans are at a confluence of factors leading to low UI recipiency: low levels of education, concentration in occupations or industries where workers are less likely to be covered, and short tenure on jobs. This means many low-wage unemployed black workers are likely suffering more economic hardship than their white counterparts,” says Margaret Simms of the Urban Institute in a Sun-Times article.