MarketWatch (12/31/15) Greg Robb
The number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose by 20,000 to 287,000 in the week ended Dec. 26. The increase is the biggest since February, and claims are at their highest level since early July. However, claims data tend to be volatile around the Christmas holiday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had forecast claims of 275,000. The four-week average of new claims climbed by 4,500 to a seasonally adjusted 277,000.